RFL/RE – Top U.S. officials are charging that Iran supplied Yemeni rebels with the missiles that were aimed at a U.S. Navy warship in several attacks this week.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, who was briefed by the Pentagon on the three failed missile attacks on the USS Mason destroyer, said on October 13 that Iran likely provided the missiles.
McCain endorsed the Pentagon’s move to retaliate by launching cruise missiles that destroyed mobile radar sites used by the Huthis to launch their missiles, which were believed to be C-802 antiship weapons.
“The United States Navy has delivered a strong message” that it won’t tolerate such aggression, McCain said.
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby also said this week that the missiles were “provided by Iran to the Huthi rebels,” although he said it was also possible the Huthis captured some missiles from the Yemeni government army.
Iran has been openly allied with the Shi’ite Huthis, but denies arming them. Still, Iran sent two warships to the gulf off the coast of Yemen after the United States struck back at the Huthi radar sites.
Iran said the move was to “protect trade vessels from piracy.”
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters