US military hits coastal radar sites in rebel-held parts of Yemen

The US military has launched cruise missiles against three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi forces. Earlier this week there had been attempted missile attacks on a US Navy destroyer.

Shortly after the Thursday attack, Iran announced that it had sent two warships to the Gulf of Aden, thus establishing a military presence in waters off Yemen and more formalizing the links between the Houthi rebels and Iran.

The cruise missile attacks are Washington’s first direct military action against suspected Houthi-controlled targets in Yemen’s conflict.

The Pentagon said: “These limited self-defence strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships and our freedom of navigation”.

US Navy destroyer USS Nitze is understood to have launched the Tomahawk cruise missiles at around 4am local time Thursday.

“These radars were active during previous attacks and attempted attacks on ships in the Red Sea,” a US official told Reuters.