Houthi Rebels Claim Credit For Missile Attack On US Aircraft Carrier

(NewsReady.com) – Yemen’s Houthi rebel group claims to have launched a missile attack on a US Navy aircraft carrier in the Red Sea. The Iran-backed militia says it targeted the USS Dwight D Eisenhower in retaliation for US and British attacks on its missile sites. Meanwhile, the US Navy says it isn’t aware of any attack on the carrier.

On May 30, US Navy F/A-18s operating from the Eisenhower and RAF Typhoons flying from Cyprus carried out a new round of strikes on the missile sites the Houthis are using to terrorize cargo ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The next day, Houthi commander Yahya Saree claimed the group had used drones and ballistic missiles to attack the Nimitz-class carrier and its battlegroup, scoring “accurate and direct” hits. Saree warned the Houthis would “meet escalation with escalation,” and threatened more attacks.

There’s just one problem with the Houthi story about the attack; it appears that it never happened. Asked about the alleged incident, a Pentagon spokesman said they were unaware of any attack on the carrier. Military spokesmen have been quick to report previous attacks against US Navy ships in the region, so they have no particular reason to keep quiet about this one. It’s almost inconceivable that the Eisenhower, which is defended by four of the world’s most advanced anti-air destroyers—three Arleigh Burke-class ships and the Type 45 HMS Diamond—could actually have been hit.

Houthi attacks are often carried out with low-grade weapons, including relatively crude Iranian drones and locally made ballistic missiles with Iranian-supplied components. Accuracy is mediocre to poor, but it seems unlikely a barrage could have been fired at Eisenhower and missed badly enough that every missile landed outside the huge radar bubble of the carrier’s escorts. More likely, the alleged attack never happened and is just a propaganda claim to boost morale among the Houthi members, who are now facing almost daily allied airstrikes.

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