While Pentagon officials yesterday conceded that it was “possible” that a pair of missiles fired from Yemen were aimed at the USS Mason, it turns out the US warship actually fired three missiles of its own in response to what officials didn’t even want to confirm was a real attack.
The Mason fired a RIM-162 SeaSparrow, a missile interceptor, along with two SM-2 surface-to-air missiles. It is unclear what, if anything, any of these missiles hit, but Pentagon officials hyped this as proof that anyone “threatening” a US warship did so at their own peril.
The USS Mason was actually just passing through the area on its way to the Red Sea. Despite this, Defense Secretary Ash Carter insisted the US is now “determined” to keep warships off the coast of Yemen just to prove that they can do so, saying it was vital to ensure “freedom of navigation.”
The US is keen to use this argument to keep warships deployed in hotspots all over the world, but with an ongoing Saudi naval blockade off the coast of Yemen, keeping US ships there will be seen as tantamount to participating in the blockade, and add to international outrage at US support for Saudi war crimes.
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