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US Destroys Radar Sites In Yemen After Attack On Navy Ship
A U.S. Navy destroyer launched a salvo of Tomahawk cruise missiles early Thursday at three coastal radar sites along the western coast of Yemen, in what officials said was retaliation for the missiles launched this week toward a U.S. military ship in the Red Sea.
The Pentagon said the predawn offensive, launched from the U.S. destroyer Nitze, was aimed at installations in an area controlled by Houthi rebels. Initial assessments show the sites were destroyed, according to U.S. officials.
"These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships, and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement late Wednesday.
"The United States will respond to any further threat to our ships and commercial traffic, as appropriate, and will continue to maintain our freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandeb, and elsewhere around the world."
The strikes, authorized by President Obama, pull the U.S. directly into a war in Yemen that's gone on for more than a year. They came just hours after the Pentagon said the U.S. guided-missile destroyer Mason was targeted by missiles fired from Hudaydah, a rebel-controlled area in western Yemen.
The ship was not hit and no one aboard was injured, but it was the third such missile launch against the Mason in the last four days.
The destroyer was operating in international waters near the Bab al-Mandeb strait, a narrow waterway between Yemen and the Horn of Africa, where millions of barrels of oil pass through daily on ships bound for Europe, Asia and the U.S.
U.S. officials said the Houthis had seized the coastal radar facilities at Ras Isa, Mukha and Khoka and used them to track and target vessels at sea with anti-ship missiles.
"These radars were active during previous attacks and attempted attacks on ships in the Red Sea," said one U.S. official, who could not be identified discussing intelligence or ongoing operations. "The three radar sites were in remote areas, where there was little risk of civilian casualties or collateral damage."
The Mason had been targeted by two missiles, believed to be variants of the Chinese-made Silkworm, on Sunday. It was targeted again with another missile on Wednesday. The ship took counter-measures, including firing interceptor missiles to defend itself, but did not fire on the rebels on land, U.S. officials said.
On Oct. 1, a missile fired from the coast of Yemen hit a high-speed HSV-2 Swift catamaran operated by the United Arab Emirates, severely damaging it. A YouTube video showed the vessel engulfed in flames.
The Houthis, a Shiite Muslim group backed by Iranian money and weapons, claimed the attack on the Swift, but not those on the Mason.
The Houthis have been locked in a war with a Saudi-led coalition since last spring when they forced Yemen’s U.S.-backed president into exile and quickly swept across the Arab world's poorest nation.
The Obama administration is providing intelligence, munitions and midair refueling to coalition aircraft, but has so far avoided direct involvement in the conflict, which has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians.
The White House issued a statement over the weekend that it was reviewing its participation in the war after reports that Saudi aircraft bombed a funeral, an attack that killed or wounded hundreds of people.
© 2016 the Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
It all began with a medical check.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
The US military now has to ask the Iraqis for permission before giving close air support to troops in combat
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
Army Spc. Clayton James Horne died in Saudi Arabia on Aug. 17, making him the eighth non-combat fatality for Operation Inherent Resolve so far this year, defense officials have announced.
Horne, 23, was assigned to the 351st Military Police Company, 160th Military Police Battalion, an Army Reserve unit based in Ocala, Florida, a Pentagon news release says.
The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.
Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).