The Pentagon on Tuesday warned that whoever fired missiles at a U.S. Navy destroyer and an accompanying ship off the coast of Yemen over the weekend had done so "at their own peril", language that suggested preparations for possible retaliation.
"We're going to find out who did it and take action accordingly", Davis said.
Davis did not say who is suspected or how they planned to retaliate for the attack, which missed the USS Mason Sunday evening near the strait of Bab el-Mandeb, which separates the country from Africa.
The Houthis and their allies have offered no reason for the launches, though they came after a Saudi-led airstrike targeting a funeral in Yemen's capital killed more than 140 people and wounded 525 on Saturday.
Reuters reported that the missile launches, which were apparently targeted specifically towards the usa destroyer by the Houthis, have come close on the heels of another missile strike that caused significant damage to a United Arab Emirates vessel only a few days ago.
The US Navy said the missiles, which fell short of the USS Mason, a destroyer, and the USS Ponce, an amphibious warfare ship, were fired within an hour of each other on Sunday.
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An American defense official said the USS Mason used onboard defensive measures after the first missile was sacked, but it wasn't clear if that caused the missile to splash harmlessly into the sea. Between this and substantial United States arms sales to the Saudis, it might've been plausible that USA forces in the waters off of Yemen might be seen as a military target, though in this situation that does not appear to have been the case.
The Houthi-controlled SABA news agency of Yemen quoted an anonymous army official denying its forces fired on the USS Mason, without elaborating. The launches came days after an Emirati ship suffered massive damage from a rocket attack. The United Arab Emirates described the vessel as carrying humanitarian aid and having a crew of civilians, while the Houthis called the boat a warship. The Houthis took control of Yemen in early 2015; within a month, the U.S. embassy evacuated all personnel, including its security contingent of U.S. Marines.
The U.S. military is providing logistical and intelligence support for a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis.
The US has participated in the Saudi war against Yemen, with ongoing refueling operations for Saudi bombers and intermittent participation in the naval blockade.
Notably, the Reuters report reveals that "State Department officials also were privately skeptical of the Saudi military's ability to target Houthi militants without killing civilians and destroying "critical infrastructure" needed for Yemen to recover".