This Is What Led To The US Navy Launching Missiles Into Yemen
Oct 14 2016 by Desiree Burns
The campaign began in March 2015 and according to recent figures has killed at least 6,500 people, more than half of them civilians, and injured 32,000.
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Human Rights Watch on Thursday declared the funeral bombing "an apparent war crime", writing in a news brief, "w$3 hile military personnel and civilian officials involved in the war effort were attending the ceremony, the clear presence of several hundred civilians strongly suggests that the attack was unlawfully disproportionate".
In addition to the Saudis, HRW found the United States and the United Kingdom indirectly complicit in the deaths of civilians in the strike and the overall severity of casualties in the 19-month long civil war in Yemen. The two countries have sold the kingdom billions of dollars in weapons for use in the Yemen campaign, and the USA military has provided logistical and intelligence support as well.
Three Yemeni Republican Guard radar installations on the country's Red Sea coast were hit with cruise missiles launched from the United States destroyer USS Nitze.
The USS Mason was sacked on again on Wednesday while conducting routine operations in global waters, according to the Pentagon. The three radar sites were located near Ras Isa, Yemen; North of Mukha, Yemen, and near Khoka, Yemen, a USA official said on the condition of anonymity. The official also spoke on condition of anonymity.
By 7 p.m., the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph A. Dunford and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter approved the options and sent them to the White House for approval, the two officials said.
US strikes Yemen rebels directly for first time
US defense officials believe the missile was a C-802 anti-ship cruise missile, originally made by China but widely replicated. So it is more than plausible that the attack on the funeral, which was attended by numerous Houthi leaders, was deliberate.
"These targets were chosen based on our assessment that they were involved in missile launches in recent days, and they were struck in order to defend our ships and their crews and to protect freedom of navigation through a waterway that is vitally important to worldwide commerce", Cook said. "The United States will respond to any further threat to our ships and commercial traffic, as appropriate, and will continue to maintain our freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandeb, and elsewhere around the world", Mr Cook added.
In January, Iran's Revolutionary Guard captured 10 U.S. Navy sailors after their two boats drifted into Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.
The semi-official Tasnim news agency said the deployment of the Alvand and the Bushehr was part of a regular anti-piracy patrol off Yemen and East Africa. But in the wake of the funeral hall bombing, a USA official publicly warned that American support is "not a blank check". Saudi officials have denied they carried out the attack, but two U.S. defence officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said there is little reason to believe that.
The Pentagon appeared to stress the limited nature of the strikes, aimed at radar that enabled the launch of at least three missiles against the U.S. Navy ship USS Mason on Sunday and Wednesday.
Fox News is told one of the Iranian ships carries the same type of anti-ship missiles the Houthis were suspected of firing this week, and the other ship carries a helicopter. He called the accusations an "American farce to find a reason to interfere in Yemen directly after failure of the Saudis", according to The Associated Press.
Following the weekend attack, Secretary of State John Kerry called Prince Mohammed and the Saudi foreign minister to press for an immediate "cessation of hostilities".
After more than two decades of peaceful service, this was likely the first time the United States fired these defensive missiles in combat. He added, "U.S. security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank check".