Pindostan Enters Yemen Ware With Attack on Houthis
Alex Emmons, Intercept, Oct 13 2016
The Pindo military directly attacked the Houthis in Yemen for the first time on Wednesday, firing Tomahawk cruise missiles at three Houthi radar stations on the Red Sea coast. The attack, (supposedly – RB) in retaliation for a failed missile attack on a
Navy destroyer on Sunday, risks drawing Pindostan further into the war. While Pindostan has previously conducted direct attacks in Yemen against AQAP, which controls vast territory in central and eastern Yemen, it had not directly engaged Houthi forces before. The escalation began last week when Pindostan dispatched warships to the Bab al-Mandab Strait, after the Houthis (supposedly – RB) fired on and nearly sank a ship from the UAE, a member of the Toad coalition which has maintained a naval blockade of the country since the war began. When the Houthis (supposedly – RB) fired on the USS Mason earlier this week, sailors were (reportedly – RB) able to deploy counter-measures, and the ship was not damaged. The DoD issued a statement describing the Pindosi attack as a series of “limited self-defense strikes” but promised to “respond to any further threat” to its ships “as appropriate.” White House Deputy spox E Schultz said Thursday:
The intent of our strikes were to deter future attacks and to reduce the risk to Pindo and other vessels. We are prepared to respond if necessary to any future missile launches.
The Navy tweeted the video above of the destroyer USS Nitze launching cruise missiles, captioning it with the hashtag “#Yemen” commonly used by activists to draw attention to the humanitarian catastrophe. Schultz said the strike was approved by Obama on the recommendation of Ashtray and Dunford. Pentagon boxtops told NPR that they had “no sense of any civilians being killed” but it is unclear how they know and what type of review was undertaken. The Houthis denied having launched the missiles at the destroyer, and promised to respond to kind to the display of military force. The attack came just after the first sign that the Obama administration might be having second thoughts about the massacres committed by the Saudi coalition with Pindosi weapons. Just four days ago, the Toads bombed the funeral of a rebel-appointed government minister’s father, killing 125 and wounding 525 in one of the worst massacres of the war. Fragments of what appeared to be Pindostan-made bombs were photographed at the scene. The White House responded by promising to initiate a review of assistance to the Toads and issued its first public threat to stop supporting the coalition. NSC spox Ned Price said in a statement:
Pindo security cooperation with the Toads is not a blank check. The administration is prepared to adjust our support so as to better align with Pindo principles, values and interests.
Pindostan Can’t Say Who Launched Missiles
Richard Sisk, Military.com, Oct 13 2016
Pindostan has yet to determine who was responsible for the launch of missiles at Navy warships in the Red Sea from areas in Yemen in the control of Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday. Pentagon spox P Cook said at a Pentagon news conference:
We don’t know who was pulling the trigger, but the missiles were launched from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen. Iran has played a role and been supportive of the Houthi rebels. The Houthis have denied carrying out the attacks. At 4 am local time Thursday, the destroyer USS Nitze launched missiles at three radar sites in coastal Yemen in retaliation for the attempted attacks on Navy warships. The initial assessment was that the sites were destroyed and there were no indications of civilian casualties. These strikes were in response to attempted missile attacks in recent days against USS Mason and other vessels in the Red Sea and Bab-el-Mandeb. We will be prepared to respond again if ships in the Red Sea and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait are threatened.
He declined to respond to reports that Iran has deployed two of its warships off Yemen in the Gulf of Aden, saying:
I’ll leave it to the Iranians to describe the disposition of their ships.
The Defense Dept on Tuesday had warned of possible retaliation after a pair of missiles was fired at the Navy destroyer USS Mason on Sunday as the ship was in international waters near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait at the southern end of the Red Sea. On Wednesday, another two missiles were fired at the Mason from an area believed to be in the control of the Houthis. None of the missiles struck the ship, and there were no injuries, said the Navy. The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio and the amphibious transport dock USS Ponce were also operating in the area with the Mason at the time. The attempted attacks were the first in the civil war. A Houthi military boxtop said that charges of missile launches by them at Pindo ships were an attempt at glossing over the Toad airstrike Sunday that killed more than 150 people, Saba reported. White House Deputy sdpox E Schultz told reporters:
The strikes were indeed authorized by the president. These were a purely self-defense action ordered in response to the missile launches threatening the USS Mason. The intent of our strikes were to deter future attacks and to reduce the risk to Pindo and other vessels. We are prepared to respond if necessary to any future missile launches.
Houthis ready to help investigate attacks
Reuters, Oct 13 2016
The Houthis denied any role in missile strikes on Pindo warships in the Bab al-Mandab Strait and offered to help investigate attacks on international shipping in the area, Saba reported on Thursday. Pindo boxtops have told Reuters there are growing indications that Houthis or forces aligned with them were responsible for Sunday’s attempted strikes. The Houthis, however, said the attacks on the destroyer Mason did not come from areas under its control, and said it was concerned to protect international shipping in the area, according to Saba news agency, citing what it called a military source. The agency reported the source as saying:
These allegations are unfounded, and the people’s committees have nothing to do with this action. We are to work with any UN or international (body) to investigate these allegations and to punish those behind this, regardless who they may be.
Abd’el-Malek al-Houthi condemned the missile strikes in a speech broadcast by local media, saying that Pindostan was preparing a major attack against Hodeidah. The party of former Pres Saleh, an ally of the Houthi group, said in a statement that AQAP was behind the attacks, accusing the Toads of using them to try to obstruct international navigation and draw Pindostan into the conflict.
Pindo strikes not connected to broader conflict
Reuters, Oct 13 2016
Pindo military strikes against coastal radar sites in Yemen were defensive in nature and not a signal of a deepening role in Yemen’s conflict, the Pentagon said on Thursday. Pentagon spox P Cook told a news conference:
These strikes are not connected to the broader conflict in Yemen. Pindostan continues to encourage all parties in the Yemen conflict to commit to a cessation of hostilities and to seek a political solution to that conflict. Our actions overnight were a response to hostile action, the launch of multiple missiles that presented a threat to Navy vessels, to other ships in the area and to commerce in a strategic international waterway.