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Were Iranian missiles fired at US ship?

The USS Mason (DDG 87), conducts maneuvers as part of an exercise in the Gulf of Oman on Sept. 10, 2016 (File Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Blake Midnight/U.S. Navy via AP)

US sources, including a high ranking official, have said the missiles fired by Houthis at the US Navy destroyer USS Mason, while it was in the Gulf of Aden, were likely provided by Iran.

The failed missile attack from rebel held territory in Yemen happened as news reports from Tehran revealed Iranian made ballistic missiles - “Zalzal 3” - were launched by the alliance of rebels and followers of ousted Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hit Saudi targets.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, John McCain, accused Iran, saying in a statement Friday, the missiles fired at the destroyer “were likely” provided by them. He praised the Pentagon’s move to retaliate the militants attack.

The destroyer USS Nitze blasted radar sites of Iran backed Houthi rebels with cruise missiles after the failed missile attack.
“The United States Navy has delivered a strong message”, the Republican senator said.

Iranian missiles fired at Saudi targets

Meanwhile, “Fars”, the Iranian semi official news agency, announced Sunday, an attack on the Thwailh military post, in Asir province, was carried by “Zalzal 3” (earthquake 3) ballistic missile.

Several Saudi positions were previously targeted by this Iranian made missile, according to the agency close to the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps). Last week, the Houthis launched a missile attack against Industrial Area, Zahran South, the ballistic missile hit the target with “high precision” the news agency claimed.

Other Iranian news outlets confirmed the Houthi militants usage of “zalzal 3” to launch attacks against targets in Jizan and Asir provinces.

What we know about “Zalzal 3”

Not much information was revealed about this missile provided by Tehran regime to its militant alliance in Yemen: it is a solid propellant missile with a range of 200 Km, while its variant “zalzal 3B” has smaller warhead and a range of 250 Km.
The shape and dimensions of the missiles is nearly identical with old “Zalzal” models except that the nosecone is cone shaped rather than the dome shaped “Zalzal 2” and “Zalzal 1.”

Iranian message to al-Houthi

The former commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Rezaee, in a letter dated back to March 2015, urged Abdulmalik al Houthi, leader of the Shiite militants in Yemen, to continue “resistance” against coalition operations to restore legitimacy in Yemen.

The current Secretary of Iran Expediency Council, vowed to maintain support to the pro Tehran militants. With the blessing of the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenie, Rezaee returned to IRGC last year, now he acts as an adviser to its units fighting alongside Tehran’s allies in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.


This article was first published on AlArabiya.net in Arabic

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Last Update: Monday, 17 October 2016 KSA 19:59 - GMT 16:59
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Were Iranian missiles fired at US ship?
US sources, including a high ranking official, have said the missiles fired by Houthis at the US Navy destroyer USS Mason were likely provided by Iran
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