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US officials say Iran supplied Houthis with missiles to target US ship

Washington was 'looking very hard right now' at who was responsible for the attack

Published: Updated:

US officials are pointing at Iran for supplying Yemeni militias with the missiles used to target an American Navy warship in three failed attacks this week.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, who was briefed by the Pentagon on the failed missile attacks on the USS Mason destroyer, dubbed Iran on Thursday as the likely provider for the missiles.

McCain said the US Navy “has delivered a strong message” after he backed the Pentagon’s move by launching cruise missiles that destroyed the Iran-backed Houthi militia’s mobile radar sites used.

The mobile radar was used by the Houthis to launch their missiles, which were believed to be C-802 anti-ship weapons.

Fixing responsibility

Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman John Kirby also said this week that the missiles were “provided by Iran to the Houthi rebels.” Kirby said it was also possible the Houthis captured some missiles from the internationally-recognized Yemeni government army.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters on Tuesday that Washington was “looking very hard right now” at who was responsible for the attack.

He said it was obvious that Iran was delivering arms and artillery to the Houthis.

Iran has sent two warships to the Gulf off the coast of Yemen after the United States struck back at the Houthi radar sites. To explain the maneuver, Iran said the move was to “protect trade vessels from piracy.”