Kerry makes a deal, US ships come under fire again
Secretary of State John Kerry made a deal with the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which resulted in the release of two Americans on Saturday. He called it a “complicated” arrangement that also allowed for the airlifting of Yemeni’s injured in the recent Saudi airstrike to be flown to Oman. Yes all that wonderful diplomacy as hours later ANOTHER volley of missiles targeted U.S. ships- the 3rd time in a few days.
Kerry worked for days to make diplomatic arrangements, culminating with release of two Americans on Saturday. Some of the Yemeni wounded from a Saudi airstrike at a funeral were flown into Oman as well as the two Americans. The deal was made in an attempt to get the Houthis to the negotiating table. The deal came earlier in the day, and reported around 1:15 p.m..
At around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Houthis supposedly fired missiles at the USS Nitze, USS Ponce, and USS Mason…again. Third time in a week.
Fox News wrote,
Initially, a U.S. defense official said multiple missiles were fired at three ships patrolling international waters at around 3:30 p.m. ET. U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson appeared to confirm that assesment, telling reporters the vessels seemed “to have come under attack in the Red Sea, again from coastal defense cruise missiles fired from the coast of Yemen.”
However, a Pentagon official later said only that the vessels “detected possible inbound missile threats and deployed appropriate defensive measures.”
The official added that all U.S. warships and vessels in the area were safe and that “post-event assessment is ongoing,” but declined to give further details.
Two guided-missile destroyers, the USS Mason and USS Nitze, as well as the amphibious transport ship USS Ponce were patrolling north of the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, when the incident occurred.
The USS Mason launched countermeasures, according to one official, likely using SM-2 surface-to-air missiles to engage the possible Houthi cruise missiles.
The US took out three radar stations believed to be Houthi in that same area earlier in the week. Was it the Houthis, or another group that has interests in drawing the US deeper into the Yemeni conflict? Just a thought.
Featured picture: Sm-2 Missile launch file photo from the USS Roosevelt in March 2016 by U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Taylor A. Elberg/Released