Hi. I'm Carl Azuz for CNN STUDENT NEWS.
Jumping right in, a U.S. warship was recently targeted by two missiles near the Middle Eastern country of Yemen. A military spokesman said the USS Mason was in international waters in the southern part of the Red Sea when the attack happened. The ship deployed onboard defensive measures. The missiles missed their apparent target, hit the water, caused no damage.But where they did come from? The U.S. says they were launched from a part of Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels. Who are the Houthis? They're a group that drove out the Yemeni president and government last year. The Houthis have taken control of much of war-torn Yemen, but they deny that they targeted the U.S. warship.
This goes deeper though. The Houthis are Shia Muslim group and they're supported by Iran, a mostly Shia Muslim country. But they're opposed by Saudi Arabia, a mostly Sunni Muslim country that's leading other nations in attacks against the Houthis.Tensions between Shia and Sunni Muslims date back centuries.When Islam's founder, the Prophet Muhammad died in the seventh century, his followers were split over who should take over, Abu Bakr was one follower. They wanted to choose. Others wanted his cousin and son in law, Ali.
Ali became the leader for all Muslims for five years before he was killed. His son Husayn was killed in battle by what were to become the Sunnis.Since then, the followers of Ali have been known as Shia.