The U.S. military struck three radar sites in Houthi-controlled territory on Yemen’s Red Sea coast early Thursday, according to a new press release from the Pentagon, in retaliation for recent missile launches threatening the USS Mason and other vessels operating in international waters in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb, a strait connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.
The missile strikes were authorized by President Obama at the recommendation of Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford.
“These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships, and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway. 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 Pentagon press release states.
Earlier on Wednesday morning, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook reported that for the second time in four days the USS Mason, a guided missile destroyer, responded to an incoming missile threat in the Houthi-controlled territory near Hudaydah, Yemen while conducting routine operations in international waters off the Red Sea coast of Yemen.
“The ship employed defensive countermeasures, and the missile did not reach USS Mason” said Pentagon Press Secretary Cook.
“There was no damage to the ship or its crew” Cook added.
The USS Mason has a homeport in Norfolk, Virginia and is deployed as part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.