Yemen Reports US Warships Attack al-Qaeda-Held Southern Mountains

Pentagon Denies Involvement

In a curious case, since the US rarely confirms or denies its attacks in Yemen, Yemeni officials have reported a substantial US naval attack against mountains in the nation’s south, claims which were quickly denied by a Pentagon spokesman, who insisted no US involvement.

The Yemeni officials say that warships off the coast, believed to be American ships, fired a salvo of missiles at the al-Maraqisha Mountains, noting that the mountains are a key stronghold of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The Pentagon has been playing up their naval presence in the region lately, saying the US Navy is prepared to assist Saudi warships off the coast of Yemen in the ongoing civil war. This likely added to the assumption that the ships doing the firing were American ships, along with the fact that no one else in the area has much in the way of advanced ships capable of such strikes.

This raises questions, then, about who else might even conceivably have launched the attack, or if it was US warships, as everyone seems to believe, why the Pentagon chose to publicly deny the reports when they’ve made very public their interest in targeting AQAP in Yemen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.