US Fires Cruise Missiles at Yemen Coast, Destroying Radar Sites

Navy: Attacks Will Prevent Houthis From Threatening Ships

The USS Nitze, a guided missile destroyer, has fired a series of cruise missiles at the Yemeni coast today, targeting and destroying three radar stations along the Red Sea under the control of the Shi’ite Houthi movement.

The attacks come after two separate reports in recent days of missiles fired from Yemen coming close to another destroyer, the USS Mason. The ship was not hit in either case, and while the Houthis denied involvement, the Pentagon claimed “evidence” of their involvement, and claimed the Mason may have been target painted by Houthi radar.

The Navy’s statement on tonight’s cruise missile attacks insisted that the destruction of the radar sites would prevent the Houthis from being able to track or target ships off their coast. The Pentagon added that there was “little risk of civilian casualties” in the attacks.

While the Houthis have attacked warships participating in the Saudi-led naval blockade of Yemen, it is unknown why they would attack the USS Mason in the first place, with the ship apparently just passing through the area into the Red Sea. At the same time, it is unclear why the USS Mason is still hanging out off the coast of Yemen days later if it indeed was meant to be just passing by.

The Houthis have suggested the reports blaming them are an attempt to distract from a weekend incident in which a Saudi warplane attacked a funeral home in the Yemeni capital, killing 155 people. The reports indeed have been successful at that, and AP reports that the missiles fired sort of near the USS Mason were sort of similar to Iranian missiles has added another layer of intrigue to the story, rendering the Saudi war crimes all but forgotten on the front page.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • survivor

    The Saudi Regime and John Kerry should be brought up on war crimes. And if the US Navy is participating in this conflict with Yemen even in a support capacity for Saudi Arabia, Obama too should be brought up on war crimes. Funny, how none of this is mentioned on the corporate state media in the U.S. but now with Wikileaks coming out with all the emails, it is not surprising for the media is a propaganda arm of the US. Govt.

  • Ghostship

    I thought it was to provide cover for the Saudi bombing at the weekend but now I realise it was to allow the USN to take out the radar stations to try and put a stop to the missile attacks on Gulfie ships enforcing the blockade. The United States should have gone to the UN Security Council as there was no urgency.

  • Tuyzentfloot

    I’d consider another possibility. American support for the Saudi war is under pressure. A Yemeni/Iranian attack on US ships would have the convenience of making the conflict more general and US involvement more acceptable. It could be a pure black flag operation. But of course war is messy enough to offer plenty of pretexts without having to cook one up.

    • jeff_davis

      Of course you meant “false flag”. And along those lines I would bring your attention to the fact that these missiles somehow failed to actually reach their target and do any damage. Now that may very well be due to some sort of say, electronic countermeasures. But it might also have been because the missiles were fired by US Navy, or perhaps Israeli, commandos. But who can say?

      “By deception we make war.”

      • Tuyzentfloot

        Or it wasn’t even aimed at the ships. The main point of the US attack is it shows the desire to get involved. Whether the reason was real, staged, or just a flimsy pretext. The US could simply have ignored it.

  • dahoit

    The disease of America being where it shouldn’t continues.Poor Yemen and its people,another proxy war zone of death.
    Yankee come home.Trump for POTUS.

  • False Flag meter is pegged out on this one.

  • Panco Nietzsche

    OK. Now I’m really confused. The US has now openly gone to war against the “Houthi rebels” in Yemen/ Even if you pretend it hasn’t been at war against the Houthis as indispensable resource to the House of Saud for the last couple years, its status as a party to the conflict is now open and undeniable. Since the Houthis are at war with al Queda, Obama’s war on the Houthis cannot be justified by the old AUMF.

    So, what is Obama’s authority to wage war on the Houthis?

    He has none. Everyone knows he has none. And nobody with any public voice has said a word about this crime.

    The beauty of endemic corruption for our owners is that it becomes business as usual and, after a while, the accepted norm. We have passed the point where the corruption can no longer even be perceived as such.