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US destroys three Houthi-controlled radar sites in Yemen: Pentagon

The attack came in retaliation to recent attacks on the US naval destroyer [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 October, 2016

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The US military has carried out "limited self-defence strikes" in Houthi rebel-controlled territory in Yemen, destroying three "radar sites" in retaliation against earlier attacks on a US naval destroyer.

The US military has struck three "radar sites" in Houthi rebel-controlled territory in Yemen in a series of "limited self-defence strikes", the Pentagon has announced.

The attack, authorised by President Obama, was carried out in retaliation to recent attacks on the US naval destroyer, USS Mason.

The attack on coastal targets was carried out by Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from the destroyer USS Nitze, NPR reported.

According to US officials, all targets were "in remote areas, where there was little risk of civilian casualties or collateral damage".

"These limited self-defence strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships, and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway," the statement read.

President Barack Obama authorised the strikes on the recommendation of Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.

The US military vowed to respond to "any further threat to our ships and commercial traffic."

Earlier on Wednesday, USS Mason was targeted for the second time in four days.

At least one rocket was fired at the destroyer, causing "no damage to the ship or its crew," Cook said.

On Monday, the Riyadh-led coalition fighting the Houthis accused the rebels of firing a ballistic missile towards the southwestern Saudi city of Taif, hundreds of kilometers (miles) from the Yemeni border.

These limited self-defence strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships, and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway.
- Pentagon

The missile was one of two that the Saudi-led coalition intercepted on Sunday, the coalition said, adding that the other was launched toward Marib, east of Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa.

The incidents come after the United Arab Emirates said last Wednesday that Yemeni rebels struck a "civilian" vessel in the strategic Bab al-Mandab waterway, wounding crewmen.

That attack, which was carried out on 1 October, was claimed by the Shia rebels.

The UAE is a key member of a Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the Yemeni rebels since March last year.

Coalition warships have imposed a naval blockade on rebel-held ports along Yemen's Red Sea coast allowing in only UN-approved aid shipments.

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