Published On:October 14, 2016, 1:25 pm
On Thursday, the US military launched cruise missile strikes to blow up three coastal radar sites in fields of Yemen which are controlled by Iran-aligned Houti forces, avenging post the miscarried missile attacks on a US Navy destroyer earlier this week, US officials stated.
President Barack Obama sanctioned the strikes and it symbolized Washington’s first ever direct military action against targets controlled by Houti in Yemen’s battle. However, the Pentagon seemed to stress the cynical nature of the strikes, which were primarily focused at radar which allowed the launch of minimum three missiles against the US Navy destroyer USS Mason since Sunday and Wednesday.
Pentagon spokesperson Peter Cook mentioned that, "These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships, and our freedom of navigation." Pertaining to the condition of the ambiguity, the US officials said, that the US Navy destroyer USS Nitze launches the Tomahawk cruise missiles around 4am local (0100 GMT).
One of the officials mentioned that, "These radars were active during previous attacks and attempted attacks on ships in the Red Sea." And this also included the USS Mason. He furthermore added that aimed radar sites were in the remote localities where the risk of civilian casualties was minimum. The US officials recognized the areas in Yemen where the radar were situated as near Ras Isa, near Khoka and north of Mukha.
All the previous missile attacks on USS Mason including the latest which took place earlier on Wednesday – seemed to be Houti’s answer to an alleged Saudi-led strike on grievers who were assembled in Sanaa – a Yemen’s Houti-led capital.
An expert of Yemen’s conflict, Michael Knights said, "Targeting US warships is a sign that the Houtis have decided to join the axis of resistance that currently includes Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran." However, Pentagon has warned against any attacks in the future.
The missile incidents, along with an Oct. 1 strike on a vessel from the United Arab Emirates, add to questions about safety of passage for military ships around the Bab al-Mandab Strait, one of the world's busiest shipping routes. "The United States will respond to any further threat to our ships and commercial traffic, as appropriate," Peter Cook said.
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