Guided missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) has launched Tomahawk missiles against Yemen’s Houthi fighters in response to repeated anti-ship missile launches at U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mason.
In the morning hours of October 13, USS Nitze struck and destroyed three radar sites in Houthi-controlled territory on Yemen’s Red Sea coast.
The strikes were authorized by U.S. president Barack Obama at the recommendation of Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford.
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said the strikes were a limited, self-defense measure aimed at protecting personnel, ships, and freedom of navigation in the 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,” Cook said.
The U.S. Navy has also released a video of the strikes which shows USS Nitze launching Tomahawk missiles.
These strikes represent the first direct U.S. military involvement with Yemen’s Houthi fighters and come after three incidents in the Bab al-Mandab strait, all three taking place in October this year.
Houthi fighters launched anti-ship missiles on Wednesday, October 12, in their second attempt to strike U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mason. The first attempt to hit Mason took place on October 9. Both attempts were unsuccessful.
Both Mason and Nitze, along with another U.S. Navy ship, were sent to patrol the region off Yemen’s coast following an attack on UAE Navy vessel HSV-2 Swift. The UAE Navy operated vessel suffered major damage but did not sink.