Act of war? Pentagon says attack on Saudi frigate possibly meant for U.S. warship

Saudi frigate

Saudi frigateOn Monday, a Saudi frigate was the target of an Iranian-backed suicide attack, but, Fox News reported Tuesday, citing two defense officials, the real target may have been a U.S. warship.

According to Fox:

The incident in question occurred in the southern Red Sea and was carried out by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. Two Saudi sailors were killed and three were wounded. At first the ship was thought to have been struck by a missile.

But based on new analysis of a video showing the attack, American intelligence officials now believe this was, in fact, a suicide bomber whose small boat rammed the side of the Saudi vessel.

In the audio heard on the video, a voice narrating the attack shouts in Arabic, “Death to America, Death to Israel, Death to the Jews.”

Sure doesn’t sound like the Saudi kingdom was the target…

Fox added:

U.S. defense analysts believe those behind the attack either thought the bomber was striking an American warship or that this was a “dress rehearsal” similar to the attack on the USS Cole, according to one official.

The attack, near the Bab al Mandab Strait connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, occurred in the same area where U.S. Navy warships came under missile attack in October.

An American destroyer shot down those incoming missiles — the first successful engagement in combat using an American SM-2 missile.

USS Nitze, an American destroyer, retaliated soon after, launching Tomahawk missiles on October 13 at multiple Houthi radar sites in Yemen.

The attack came just one day after President Trump spoke with the Saudi King by phone to discuss safe zones for refugees in Syria and Yemen, Fox said.

Defense officials say that while they’re concerned about the latest attack, they’re confident U.S. warships in the area are capable of defending themselves.

Here’s video, courtesy of Fox News:

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