US Navy Destroyer shoots down Houthi-claimed missile in Red Sea

A US guided-missile destroyer patrolling in the Red Sea (AP)
A US guided-missile destroyer patrolling in the Red Sea (AP)

A US navy destroyer in the Red Sea has shot down an anti-ship cruise missile launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels.

The missile marks the latest attack targeting American forces patrolling the key trade route, officials said on Wednesday.

The attack came late on Tuesday night, and targeted the USS Gravely, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the US military's Central Command said in a statement.

"There were no injuries or damage reported," it added.

A Houthi military spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, claimed the attack in a statement on Wednesday morning, calling it "a victory for the oppression of the Palestinian people and a response to the American-British aggression against our country".

The Iranian-backed Houthi militia has been targeting civilian ships in what they claim is a protest against Israel's military campaign in the Gaza Strip.

Brig Gen Saree claimed the Houthis on Tuesday night fired "several" missiles - something not acknowledged by the US navy.

Houthi claims have been exaggerated in the past and their missiles sometimes crash on land, and fail to reach their targets.

The Houthis claimed without evidence on Monday to have targeted the USS Lewis B Puller, a floating landing base used by the Navy Seals and others.

Meanwhile the US said there was no attack.

Since November, the rebels have repeatedly targeted ships in the Red Sea over Israel's offensive against Hamas in Gaza.

But they have frequently targeted vessels with tenuous or no clear links to Israel, imperilling shipping in a key route for global trade between Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

The Houthis hit an oil tanker with a missile on Friday, sparking a fire which burned for hours before it could be extinguished.