Was a suicide bombing against a Saudi ship actually meant for American sailors?
The suicide-bombing attack carried out by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on a Saudi frigate off the coast of Yemen on Monday may have been meant for an American warship, Fox News reported on Wednesday.
Two Saudi sailors were killed in the incident and three were wounded.
According to two defense officials quoted by Fox News, the attack was probably meant to target a US ship.
Analysis by American intelligence officials of a video showing the attack has led them to believe that a suicide bomber whose small boat rammed the side of the Saudi vessel was the cause of the explosion, and not a missile launch, as they initially assumed.
In the audio heard on the video, a voice narrating the attack shouts in Arabic, “Allahu akbar [God is greater], death to America, death to Israel, a curse on the Jews and victory for Islam.”
US defense analysts believe those behind the attack either thought the bomber was striking an American warship or that this was a “dress rehearsal” for an attack similar to the one carried out against the USS Cole by al-Qaeda in October 2000, in which 17 US sailors were killed and 39 injured.
The attack, near the Bab al Mandab Strait connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, occurred in the same area where US Navy warships came under three Houthi missile attacks in October.
The Houthis’ attacks raise fears about maritime safety in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which serves as a gateway for oil tankers and ships traveling to and from Europe through the Suez Canal.
Yemen has been at war since September 2014, when the Houthis swept into the capital, Sanaa. A Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Arab nations launched a campaign against the Houthis in March 2015.
The US had been providing logistical and intelligence support to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.
By: World Israel News Staff