US strikes Yemen rebels directly for first time


The officials said the exchange of missile fire, while potentially complicating efforts to secure an immediate cease-fire between the two parties, would not affect the deliberations about future support to Saudi Arabia.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87).

Meanwhile, Yemen's state news agency Saba- under Houthis' control- quoted an unnamed military official as saying that USA accusations that a U.S. destroyer had come under attack from areas under control of Houthis were false.

"Targeting U.S. warships is a sign that the Houthis have made a decision to join the axis of resistance that now includes Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran", Knight said.

But even the limited strike places the USA in a tricky situation internationally and legally. The United States has the right to defend its people.

The White House doesn't want Americans to notice, but the tide of war is not receding in the Middle East.

At the time, a Houthi spokesman told the Saba news agency that it had not targeted any warships.

The forces also fired two rockets, (AL-Sarkhah), on Saudi aggression gatherings of Saudi soldiers in Rajla military camp, leaving dozens of casualties.

A forensic expert displays glasses and other personal items of a victim as he inspects the destroyed funeral hall, two days after a Saudi-led airstrike targeted it, in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Oct. 10, 2016.

If existing structures within the United Nations can not act credibly, the world must explore global civilian action through non-governmental organisations, supported by those few honourable governments that do exist, to investigate war crimes allegations. So it is more than plausible that the attack on the funeral, which was attended by numerous Houthi leaders, was deliberate.

Iran says it supports the Houthis, though it denies arming the rebels. And the terrorists in Yemen are, at best, a side show to the main fighting.

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But for the rebels and many others in Yemen, the predawn strikes Thursday were just the first public evidence of what they had long believed: that the United States had been waging an extended campaign in the country, the hidden hand behind Saudi Arabia's punishing air war. Iran began to provide military support to the Houthis.

Yemen presents an extremely attractive goal for enterprising Iran.

Events in the past week have reached such a high point of inhuman warfare and civilian death and suffering that we have started to hear calls for action to investigate and hold accountable those who may have committed crimes against humanity or war crimes. "We have taken swift action in this case, and should we see a repeat, we are prepared to take appropriate action at the appropriate time".

"These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway", Cook said.

"We don't seek a wider role in the conflict", Cook said.

US defense officials believe the missile was a C-802 anti-ship cruise missile, originally made by China but widely replicated.

Gone too far? Or not far enough?

Shortly after the beginning of the war in January 2015, regional powers rushed in to back the various parties in their internal struggle. "They're not looking for caches of missiles, not looking for youth hideouts, not looking to engage directly", said Schanzer.

Mr. Cook on Thursday declined to comment on the Iranian deployment or the country's possible involvement in the attacks.

"We encourage the Yemeni government and Houthi-General People's Congress factions to agree to a cease-fire immediately and without preconditions", State Department spokesman John Kirby said.