It was reported that the USS Mason destroyer was attacked. However, there are claims that these attacks could be false.
The US is a master at creating provocations that lead to war. Many of the Americans’ wars of conquest have begun with alleged attacks on their soldiers or civilians after which the army and navy of one of the most powerful states in the world invades another people’s territory.
On Thursday, October 13th, Reuters reported “another” Houthi attack on the USS Mason destroyer. Two anti-ship missiles were supposedly launched at the ship but missed, but the American ship was compelled to strike back and destroy a radar station on Yemeni territory.
Afterwards, the Pentagon published a rather interesting message: “Those who threaten our forces should know that U.S. commanders retain the right to defend their ships, and we will respond to this threat at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner.”
There is much interesting here, but we’ll get to this later. First, let’s retrace the chain of events.
On October 1st, 2016, an American high-speed HSV-2 military transport, leased to the UAE for rapidly transporting troops between Yemeni ports, was attacked. The ship, which has a cruising speed of over 40 knots, was ideally useful and even indispensable for quickly transporting troops from one front to another.
As we can see, the ship burned out completely after the attack and will most likely never return to surf the ocean again.
Then, on October 10th, 2016, the US stated that its Mason destroyer had been attacked by two missiles which, before reaching the ship, fell into the water. Two days later, the attack was supposedly repeated but with the same failed result.
The Houthis’ arsenal in Yemen includes “Nur” coastal anti-ship rocket complexes of Iranian production. Each of corresponding missiles has a firing range of 120 km and a payload of around 150 kg. The HSV-2 and Mason destroyer were attacked near the port of Mokha, which is only 50 km away from the shores of Eritrea. How could the rocket have not made it to its target, especially if 2 were launched, and then another 2 were launched two days later? If they had been launched with the help of electronic warfare guidance, i.e., those radar stations, then the US could have simply said the the attack failed or was deflected. But the question here is not about bragging. There were hundreds of sailors on the ship who could spill the beans about what really happened.
If you shoot at a passing destroyer with any close-range missile complex, even at night, then the missiles will, of course, fall into the water, and then the world can talk about the treachery of the Houthis. And the ship’s crew might even have seen what happened. In fact, the port of Mokha is situated close to the front line, and therefore the Houthi supporters of Hadi easily could have produced such a strike.
If the Americans really did bother about these spectacles, then they could have thought through and invented the story from beginning to end.
It also cannot be said that the American ship was attacked by mistake. Dozens of vessels go through the strait daily and not a single one has been hit by a mistaken strike. Much less has one been shot at more than once. Moreover, confusing a 10,000 ton ship at a distance of 20-30 km for a light Saudi Arabian or UAE warship is simply impossible.
Even taking into consideration the disagreements between the US and Saudi Arabia, the Americans are continuing to support the Saudis. Iran and Russia are the enemies of the United States, and it is unlikely that Washington will allow Russia to gain a foothold in the region. Any coastal missile system which can successfully attack an American military ship in the Bab El-Mandeb strait is therefore a threat to them, and needs to be removed.
Hence why they came up with this provocation. Most likely, the American destroyer simply patrolled the area for a few days and waited until the coastal radar station would work, and then struck. In order to cover up this act of aggression against a foreign country in the information space, they came up with the story of a failed attack which no one except themselves knows.
Judging by the Pentagon’s statement, they will continue to patrol the region and strike at radar systems which the US deems dangerous. In general, one can consider these actions by the US to be their reaction to a failed Houthi attack on their military ship rented to the UAE. But will this have further consequences? Definitely. The Houthis will have to stop attacking ships or their systems (especially radar stations) will be rapidly destroyed.
Will the Americans launch more strikes? There is too little information to analyze this. But the first and most important step towards this have already been taken. The pretext is the first strike. From now on, it’ll be easier. And after a year, everyone will forget about this.