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White House strategic communications coordinator John Kirby said Washington is looking into details of an attack on the USS Mason in the Gulf of Aden.

Kirby stressed that the destroyer was not damaged, and that the missiles that targeted it fell far from it.

Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said the accusations made by the United States against Iran over events in the region were false and baseless.

Ashtiani added that all these accusations against Tehran are due to the fact that it oversees matters in the region, and stressed that everyone is aware that Iran has a key position in the region, as he put it.

Somali pirates

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said on Monday that an attempt to hijack a commercial ship in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday was apparently carried out by Somali pirates, not the Yemeni Houthis.

Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said: "We are continuing to evaluate, but initial indications are that these five individuals are Somalis."

Earlier on Monday, Washington announced that the US Navy had thwarted an attempt by militants in the Gulf of Aden to seize a ship operated by an Israeli-owned company, and said the Houthis had fired two ballistic missiles at the USS Mason, which was in the area of the operation, and the missiles failed to hit the target.

A US Navy warship responded to a distress call on Sunday from the commercial tanker Central Park, which was seized by militants.

The incident comes after the Houthis targeted a ship last Friday and seized an Israeli-linked cargo ship in the southern Red Sea last week.

The Houthis had announced that they would target all ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or flying the Israeli flag "in view of the brutal Israeli-American aggression against the Gaza Strip, where daily massacres and genocide are taking place."

Source : Al Jazeera