Pentagon spokesman, Capt. Jeff Davis, said, “we will respond to this threat at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner;” and that “It’s no secret that Iran has been supplying [the Houthis] with the tools of war.”

Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, said in a statement, “The US Navy remains on watch in the Red Sea and around the world to defend America from attack and to protect U.S. strategic interests. These unjustified attacks are serious, but they will not deter us from our mission. We are trained and ready to defend ourselves and to respond quickly and decisively.”  

The Hill quoted Washington Institute Defense Fellow, Daniel R. Green as commenting that the Iranians have “found an opportunity through U.S. Navy ships going close to their coastline to retaliate against the U.S. for its support of the Saudi war in Yemen. That conveniently lines up with Iran’s strategic interest in continuing to push back U.S. influence in the region.” 

In addition to these latest strikes, The Hill says, “Iran has also increased its harassment of U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf from last year.”

A number of U.S. senators have demanded swift retaliation against Iran. According to The Hill, Republicans argue, “Obama has coddled Iran with the nuclear deal lifting sanctions on the country.”

Sen Marco Rubio, for example, tweeted Wednesday, “#Iran-backed forces in Yemen again fire on U.S. Navy ship. More attacks resulting from President Obama’s failed Iran deal.”