Tags: cole | yemen | patrol | iran

Navy Destroyer USS Cole Patrols Yemen Coast Amid Iran Tensions

Image: Navy Destroyer USS Cole Patrols Yemen Coast Amid Iran Tensions

 (AP)

Friday, 03 Feb 2017 11:15 AM

The United States has moved a Navy destroyer to off the coast of Yemen to protect waterways from Houthi militia aligned with Iran, two U.S. officials said Friday, amid heightened tension between Washington and Tehran.

The USS Cole arrived in the vicinity of the Bab al-Mandab Strait off southwestern Yemen where it will carry out patrols including escorting vessels, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Cole is the U. S. ship that was hit in 2000 by an al-Qaida terrorist attack off Yemen that killed 17 crew members and injured 39.

While U.S. military vessels have carried out routine operations in the region in the past, this movement is part of an increased presence there aimed at protecting shipping from the Iran-allied Houthis, they said.

The Houthis are allied to Iran, which is at odds with new U.S. President Donald Trump over its recent test launch of a ballistic missiles.

Trump said on Thursday that "nothing is off the table" in dealing with Iran, a day after his national security adviser, Michael Flynn said he was putting Iran "on notice."

The officials said the decision to move the USS Cole was made before the most recent comments.

Earlier this week the armed Houthi movement attacked a Saudi warship off the western coast of Yemen, causing an explosion that killed two crew members.

That incident was part of an escalation in combat on Yemen's western coast between the militia and the coalition backing the country's internationally recognized government.

Last October, the U.S. military launched cruise missile strikes to knock out three coastal radar sited in areas of Yemen controlled by Houthi forces, retaliating after failed missile attacks on another U.S. destroyer.

Tensions with Iran increased further on Friday when the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions on 13 people and 12 entities under U.S. Iran sanctions authority. 

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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The United States has moved a Navy destroyer to off the coast of Yemen to protect waterways from Houthi militia aligned with Iran, two U.S. officials said Friday, amid heightened tension between Washington and Tehran.
cole, yemen, patrol, iran
308
2017-15-03
Friday, 03 Feb 2017 11:15 AM
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