The USS Cole has been dispatched to patrol off the coast of Yemen in order to protect the waterways from Houthi militia forces allied with Iran. The vessel is the same one which was attacked in 2000 by al Qaeda while in the Yemini port of Aden. A terrorists’ boat laden with large amounts of explosives was used to blast a hole in the side of the Cole, killing 17 sailors and injuring dozens more.
The ship is now in the area of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, off southwestern Yemen. It will be conducting patrols and providing escort. The Houthis on the Yemeni coast are allied with Iran and have become increasingly belligerent since the lifting of Iran sanctions by the Obama regime and the associated financial windfalls were granted as rewards.
Recent ballistic missile tests by Iran have elevated tensions in the region and between the US and Iran in particular. On Thursday President Trump stated “nothing is off the table” in dealing with Iran, one day after Gen Michael Flynn, his National Security Adviser put Iran “on notice” over their illegal missile tests.
Explosion aboard Saudi warship believed struck by Houthi fire.Officials speaking with Reuters stated that the decision to move the USS Cole to its present mission was made prior to the most recent comments being made. Earlier this week, two crew members aboard a Saudi warship were killed when it was attacked off the western coast of Yemen. The conflict in that area between the Iranian backed militia and a coalition backing the country’s government has been escalating.
Last October, American forces launched cruise missiles strikes, destroying three coastal radar sites inside areas under Houthi control in retaliation for failed missile attacks on the USS Mason, another destroyer engaged in the region.
On Friday the US Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Iranian, Lebanese, Emirati and Chinese individuals and firms involved in procuring ballistic missile technology for Iran.
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