(NationalSentinel) In an incident that has not been widely reported, U.S. intelligence officials believe that an attack on a Saudi Arabian frigate in the Red Sea was staged by an Iranian-backed suicide bomber who may have thought he was attacking a U.S. Navy warship.
The Iranian-backed suicide attack targeting a Saudi frigate off the coast of Yemen on Monday may have been meant for an American warship, two defense officials told Fox News.
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.”
Pentagon officials believe that the attacker either believed he was attacking a U.S. warship or it might have been a USS Cole-like dress rehearsal for a future attack on an American vessel.
The area of attack was the same part of the Red Sea where U.S. Navy ships were attacked with missiles in October. TheÂ USS Nitze, a destroyer equipped with the Aegis system, shot down the incoming missiles and then retaliated with Tomahawk cruise missiles, targeting several Houthi-manned radar locations inside Yemen.
Fox News reported that two Saudi sailors were killed in the attack and three more were wounded.