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US says Iran-backed Houthis fired missile toward Red Sea over weekend

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched at least one missile into the busy waters of Red Sea over the weekend, the US Navy says, raising the risks of their fire striking one of the many commercial vessels using a waterway crucial to global shipping.

The Red Sea connects into the Suez Canal, which sends cargo and energy shipments from the wider Mideast onto Europe. Since seizing Yemen’s capital in September 2014, the Houthis have launched missiles, deployed bomb-laden drone boats and released mines into the Red Sea.

The missile fire took place Saturday in the Red Sea, the Navy says.

“Although maritime traffic was not impacted in this instance, these actions are destabilizing and present a danger to all vessels transiting a critical international waterway,” says Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins, a spokesman for the Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet.

Spokesmen for the Iranian-backed Houthis did not immediately respond to requests for comment. \

Saudi Arabia, which has led a coalition battling the Houthis since March 2015 and has a coastline stretching some 1,760 kilometers (1,100 miles) along the Red Sea, also did not respond to requests for comment.

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