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Thursday, October 20, 2016
US general suspects Iran role in Houthi attacks on US ships
WASHINGTON – Iran may have played a role in recent Houthi missile attacks against US warships in the Red Sea, a top US general said Wednesday.
Iranian-backed Houthi rebels are believed to be behind a series of incidents this month that saw surface-to-surface missiles fired at the USS Mason on at least two occasions.
In response, US cruise missiles on October 13 struck Houthi radar sites believed to have been used to target the weapons.
“I do think Iran is playing a role in some of this. They have a relationship with the Houtis, so I do suspect there is a role in there,” General Joseph Votel told a Washington think tank.
Votel heads the US military’s Central Command, which oversees operations across the Middle East.
His statement was the most forward-leaning so far of a US official in describing Iranian involvement in the missile attacks.
The Houthi missiles either fell short of their targets or were thwarted by US anti-missile defenses.
The Pentagon has described two attacks so far on the Mason or other US warships.