The United States military has shot down a missile fired at one of its vessels by Iran-backed Houthis, in the first known attack on US forces by the rebel group since Washington began its latest air strikes on Yemen.

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said on Sunday that a US fighter aircraft shot down the anti-ship cruise missile after it was fired from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen towards the USS Laboon in the Red Sea.

The attack is the first to be acknowledged by the US since Washington and its allies on Friday began launching air and cruise missile strikes on Yemen in response to Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

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