SANAA, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) — Yemen's dominant Shiite Houthi rebels on Thursday denied targeting a U.S. warship off the Yemeni coasts from territories they control, Houthi-controlled state Saba news agency reported.

"These allegations were baseless and the army as well popular forces have nothing to do with targeting the U.S. ship," the Houthis said in a statement carried by the agency.

"The U.S. allegations just came in the context of creating false justifications to pave the way for the Saudi-led coalition to escalate their aggression attacks (against Houthis) and to cover crimes committed by the aggression coalition against the Yemeni people and the all-out blockade," the statement said.

The Houthis said that their army and popular forces are "in full readiness to confront any further aggression" under whatever justification.