By Kasim Ileri
The U.S. hit targets in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen early Thursday, the Pentagon said.
The strikes on “three radar sites in Houthi-controlled territory on Yemen's Red Sea coast,” comes after cruise missiles twice targeted the destroyer, USS Mason, in the Red sea near the Bab al-Mandab strait in less than a week.
“The strikes -- authorized by President Obama at the recommendation of Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford -- targeted radar sites involved in the recent missile launches threatening USS Mason and other vessels operating in international waters in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement.
The Pentagon hinted earlier this week that the U.S. military is going to retaliate for any attack on its naval forces in the region.
According to Cook, the initial assessment shows that the radar sites were destroyed.
“These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships, and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway,” Cook added.
He warned that the U.S. would respond to any additional threat to American naval assets and other commercial vessels operating in the area.
Last week, a United Arab Emirate’s commercial ship also came under a similar missile attack from Yemen.
Cook told reporters the strikes were conducted using “sea-launched cruise missiles launched from the USS Nitze” and the targeted sites are believed to be involved in the missile strikes in recent days.
The strikes are not indicative of a greater American military role in the conflict, and are instead "purely self-defense action", the White House said.
"The intent of our strikes was to deter future attacks and to reduce the risk to U.S. and other vessels," spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters aboard Air Force One. "We are prepared to respond if necessary to any future missile launches."
Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.