This Thursday, an American warship fired cruise missiles at radar installations that were being used against the US forces. The ship was stationary off the coast of Yemen when it made the call to fire. The reason for firing on the radar installations happened in the past four days. During that time frame, Yemeni insurgents had used the radar installations to mount two missile attacks on an American warship. The missile strikes were a hit and miss as the missiles fell in the water in proximity of the ship. There were no consequences to the missile strikes. But there was a response to them this Thursday.
US Ship Fires for the First Time
This is the first time that the United States make the decision to take military action in the conflict in Yemen. The US warship has struck the radar installations that were under the control of Houthi rebels in the region. The Houthis are a Shiite group indigenous to the area that is receiving support from Iran. They are leading a rebellion against the Yemeni government. Saudi Arabia and other Sunni countries support the government in the conflict.
The strikes were against an area under the control of one side of the conflict in Yemen. But the decision was well thought out. Peter Cook, a spokesman for the Pentagon, said that President Barack Obama had approved the military strikes. The Pentagon spokesman took the opportunity to issue a warning that there could be more strikes from the US. The United States is ready to hit the rebels again if they fire on American ships one more time.
“These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway,”
Said the Pentagon in a statement.
The statement continued to say that the United States are going to respond if they perceive another threat to US ships or to commercial traffic.
Obama Administration Cautious Regarding Yemen
The Obama administration finds itself in a tight spot in Yemen. Until Thursday, the administration was trying to navigate the situation with diplomacy and careful deals in the region. Diplomatically, the Obama administration is asking for a peace deal that would put an end to the conflict in Yemen. But, on the sidelines of that, the United States have provided military support to a bombing campaign that Saudi Arabia has led against the rebels.
It might look like a duplicitous position to take regarding the conflict in Yemen. But the American side made the decisions one step at a time. The Obama administration’s ultimate goal is to have peace in Yemen and see an end to the conflict. Also, the administration is weary of taking on too much. With regard to the ongoing conflict between the government and the rebels, the administration has tried to play it safe. Efforts by the White House are directed at making sure that the United States doesn’t get directly involved in the conflict. The situation in Yemen is tense and there are no signs that the conflict will come to an end soon.
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