Pen­ta­gon: Mis­si­les tar­get US war­ship

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

YEMEN – “Two mis­si­les tar­ge­ted a US war­ship off the coast of Yemen on Sun­day but mis­sed the ves­sel and hit the wa­ter in­stead”, a Pen­ta­gon spo­kes­man said.

The mis­si­les we­re fired at the USS Ma­son from Hout­hi­con­trol­led ter­ri­to­ry in wartorn Yemen, Capt. Jeff Da­vis said, ad­ding that the gui­ded­mis­si­le de­st­roy­er de­ploy­ed on­board de­fen­si­ve me­a­su­res and was un­da­ma­ged.

But the Hout­his, a mi­no­ri­ty Shia group that has ta­ken control of much of Yemen, in­clu­ding the ca­pi­tal de­nied yes­ter­day that its for­ces had tar­ge­ted the war­ship. An of­fi­ci­al from the Hout­hi­con­trol­led mi­li­ta­ry said the re­ports we­re ai­med at co­ve­ring up a ‘heinous’ Sau­di­led co­a­li­ti­on air­stri­ke on a wa­ke Sa­tur­day in the ca­pi­tal, Sa­na’a, that of­fi­ci­als said kil­led at least 155 pe­o­p­le, the Hout­hi-con­trol­led SABA news agency re­por­ted.

The US war­ship was in in­ter­na­ti­o­nal wa­ters mo­re than 12 nau­ti­cal mi­les (22 km) off­sho­re, in the sou­t­hern end of the Red Sea, north of the Bab el-Man­deb Strait, ac­cor­ding to a de­fen­se of­fi­ci­al.

The mis­si­les we­re laun­ched within 60 mi­nu­tes of each other, Da­vis said.

Was­hing­ton has back­ed a Sau­di-led co­a­li­ti­on figh­ting to pre­vent Hout­hi re­bels al­lied with Iran and for­ces loy­al to Yemen’s de­po­sed Pre­si­dent Ali Ab­dul­lah Sa­leh from ta­king po­wer in Yemen.

But on Sa­tur­day the US said it was ree­va­lu­a­ting its sup­port af­ter the dead­ly wa­ke air­stri­ke.

The Sau­di-led co­a­li­ti­on had ear­lier de­nied ac­cu­sa­ti­ons that it was res­pon­si­ble for the at­tack and said it would im­me­di­a­te­ly in­ves­ti­ga­te re­ports that its war­pla­nes we­re be­hind the air­stri­kes, ac­cor­ding to the of­fi­ci­al Sau­di Press Agency.

The Sau­di-led co­a­li­ti­on, in­vol­ving se­ve­r­al Arab coun­tries, be­gan a mi­li­ta­ry cam­paign in Yemen in March 2015 af­ter Hout­his dro­ve out the US-back­ed govern­ment, led by Pre­si­dent Ab­du Rab­bu Mans­our Ha­di, and took over Sa­na’a. The cri­sis quick­ly es­ca­la­ted in­to a mul­ti­sided war, which al­lo­wed al Qae­da and ISIS other ene­mies of the Hout­his to grow stron­ger amid the cha­os.

The con­flict has kil­led an esti­ma­ted 10,000 Ye­me­nis and left millions in need of aid, ac­cor­ding to the Uni­ted Na­ti­ons.

Sin­ce pea­ce talks in Kuw­ait fai­led in Au­gust, the co­a­li­ti­on has in­ten­si­fied air­stri­kes, des­pi­te vo­cal cri­ti­cism from rights groups that the bom­bard­ments ha­ve been in­dis­cri­mi­na­te and could con­sti­tu­te war cri­mes. The at­tacks ha­ve of­ten hit ci­vi­li­an tar­gets with de­vasta­ting re­sults.

(CNN/ foto: me­dia4.s-nbc­

Sau­di Air­stri­ke kills sco­re­son a wa­ke in Sa­na’a, Yemen.

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