Navy officials backtrack on missiles claim

In this image released by the U.S. Navy, the USS Mason (DDG 87), conducts maneuvers as part of a exercise in the Gulf of Oman on Sept. 10, 2016. For the second time this week two missiles were fired at the USS Mason in the Red Sea, and officials believe they were launched by the same Yemen-based Houthi rebels involved in the earlier attack, a U.S. military official said Wednesday. According to the official, the missiles were fired early Oct. 12 at the USS Mason that is conducting routine operations in the region, along with the USS Ponce, an amphibious warship. The official said that neither missile got near the ship. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Blake Midnight/U.S. Navy via AP)
In this image released by the U.S. Navy, the USS Mason (DDG 87), conducts maneuvers as part of a exercise in the Gulf of Oman on Sept. 10, 2016. For the second time this week two missiles were fired at the USS Mason in the Red Sea, and officials believe they were launched by the same Yemen-based Houthi rebels involved in the earlier attack, a U.S. military official said Wednesday. According to the official, the missiles were fired early Oct. 12 at the USS Mason that is conducting routine operations in the region, along with the USS Ponce, an amphibious warship. The official said that neither missile got near the ship. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Blake Midnight/U.S. Navy via AP)

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Navy officials are now uncertain that rebels in Yemen fired missiles at Norfolk-based destroyed USS Mason Saturday.

The destroyer fired countermeasures after detecting the missiles, which officials say may have instead been a malfunction of the radar detection system.

“We are aware of the reports and we are assessing the situation. All of our ships and crews are safe and unharmed,” one US defense official told CNN.

EARLIER:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Multiple missiles were fired again from a Houthi-controlled region in Yemen targeting an American warship in the Red Sea, a U.S. admiral said Saturday. No hits were reported.

The missile launches were the third in about a week that targeted the destroyer USS Mason and other U.S. ships.

The latest attacks, also from the coastal Yemen region, came just days after a U.S. warship fired Tomahawk missiles into Yemen to destroy three radar sites that Pentagon leaders believed played a role in the earlier attacks.

“The Mason once again appears to have come under attack in the Red Sea, again from coastal defense cruise missiles fired from the coast of Yemen,” Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, told reporters Saturday in Baltimore.

A senior U.S. defense official said the Mason was in international waters when multiple incoming surface-to-surface missiles were detected about 3:30 p.m. EDT. None hit the Mason and no crewmembers were hurt. The missiles were engaged by the Mason using unspecified on-board defensive systems, the official said.

A U.S. official said that additional radars could have been used in the Saturday attack.

The officials were not authorized to discuss the incident publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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