Report: Attack on Saudi frigate may have been intended for U.S. warship

An attack on a Saudi frigate off the coast of Yemen may have been intended to strike a U.S. warship according to a new Fox News report. Video of the attack circulated Monday showing a large explosion near the rear of the ship. This was originally reported to be the result of a missile strike. However, analysis of the video suggests this was actually a suicide attack involving several small boats. From Fox News:

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.”

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.

In this video you can hear someone say “America” and “Israel” after the explosion takes place:

From the BBC, a coalition statement confirms there were three “suicide boats” involved in the attack on the Saudi ship. Two Saudi sailors were killed and three were injured:

A coalition statement said three Houthi “suicide boats” had approached a Saudi frigate west of Hudaydah on Monday.

One of the boats collided with the rear of the frigate and exploded, causing a fire, the statement added.


A US destroyer was attacked off the coast of Yemen last October. Those attacks did involve missiles, however none of them were successful. After the second such attack, a US ship fired cruise missiles at several radar installations controlled by Houthi rebels.