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13 October 2016

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turcopolier

Richardstevenhack

Let's not jump to conclusions. pl

Jeff Roby

Cui bono?

Babak Makkinejad

It must be because they are trying to crush the Party of (Imam) Ali - after 1400 years.

turcopolier

Jeff Roby

And the answer is? pl

Fred

Col.,

"... why did the CO of USS Mason not react more forcefully DURING the attack?"

Incompetence or cowardice in the face of an armed enemy? He should be court martialed. Unless there was no threat at all in which case the facts will be hidden far better than Hilary's emails have been.

MartinJ

I think that the action was signalling an intent to cause future trouble in the Bab al-Mandab strait. The message to the US is that Yemen can cause more trouble than it is worth. I would hazard the "idea" is to make the US decide how far it is willing to go in this war, how much it is willing to back the Saudis, and at what cost. With minimal resources Yemen can interdict commercial shipping and oil tankers, should it choose to do so.

MasterSlacker

I think LtCol(ret) Bateman covers it reasonably well in Esquire

eakens

Let's assume for a hot second the US does cede Syria to the Russians and Iranians. Do you think the Russians would seek to plant a flag in Yemen next?

scott s.

I have seen nothing about "attacking small boats". Instead it appears Mason engaged the first shore-launched missile with SM-2 and ESSM missiles. The second shore-launched missile apparently splashed outside engagement range. Meanwhile the ship also deployed ECM (reportedly Nulka) against the missile seekers. CIWS would engage any leakers (which didn't happen in this case). I'm not sure what capability the 5" with VT-frag projectiles would have. Some but not what you would want as last line of defense. Though this does bring back memories of gunnery quals at Gitmo where we would do the "John Wayne" exercise at Vieques Island (steam at full speed towards the beach, firing Mt 51, then reverse course and fire from aft Mt 52). There were also the fire support missions sometime during which you would receive counter battery and have to engage.

mike allen

"impossible at this time and on the basis of available information to decide exactly what has transpired in this ship action against shore batteries and who did what."

Agreed!

I have not yet seen any reports of attacks by small boats. Although there was some speculation that there may have been spotters in skiffs. Are there any published reports that the USS Mason or Nitze or Ponce were attacked by small boats?

Some news bulletins on the attack also mentioned that the US ships were painted by radar before the attacks Sunday and Wednesday. In a piece this morning Sam LaGrone of US Naval Institute News, he says the radar sites targeted were near Ras Issa, north of Mukha, and near Khoka; all on the Red Sea coastline. Reuters said they were told by shipping sources that radar sites were hit in the Dhubab district of Taiz province, a remote area overlooking the Bab al-Mandab [strait] known for fishing and smuggling. I myself know nothing of Yemen geography.

Any conjecture of fabrication of the Sunday and Wednesday attacks are way too early regardless of suspicion. And questions about incompetence or cowardice by the Captain or crew should never be said by people who were not there and have not investigated the circumstances.

Jeff Roby

I'd venture that it wasn't the Houthi resistance. Either the U.S. wanted to get more involved, OR the jihadis wanted the U.S. more involved Narrows it a bit.

On the U.S. media end, I've noticed a slight shift from "U.S. must get MORE involved militarily because of the children" to U.S. must get more involved because of "strategic interests." They need that, because dead children aren't enough for them to spend blood and treasure. The veneer is getting stripped away

mike allen

Iran Sends Ships to Yemeni Coast in Wake of U.S. Strikes

http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/10/13/iran-sends-ships-to-yemeni-coast-in-wake-of-u-s-strikes/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_frigate_Alvand

Earthrise

I thought it was strange that the missiles both ditched into the water before striking the ship. Now maybe it is a new ECM I am not aware of, but I felt it was either a demonstration, or a false flag as most people believe. I wonder what these three Tomahawks hit? I can't imagine that there would be any active radar left in Yemen after all these months of aerial bombardment. If they really were anti-ship missiles, they would be portable, again fixed locations would have already have been bombed. The US does not need to use their navy to attack assets in Yemen, as they could just get their air controllers in Riyadh to do them work for them. Of course they could be angling to take a more active (overt) role in the brutalising of Yemen, a signal that SA has failed (der!).

The other option is that the assets that were struck were Iranian, or even Russian. The strike could be revenge for wrecking of the UAE 'Swift', or at least a message to back off. I think many of us are wondering how the Houthis can hit Saudi based with such accuracy with unguided 'Scuds'. Someone is helping Yemen, and while no doubt the IRGC is active, I think this is mainly Saudi propaganda. John Pilger said a few months ago that World War Three has already started, looks like he is right. Don't worry about calling a war that nobody turns up to, what about the war that no-one knows is even taking place!

FB Ali

When the participants in such events don't say what really happened, there is no alternative but to come up with the most likely explanation.

The basic events were:

- The Houthi combatants in Yemen fire a missile and hit a UAE vessel in the Bab-al-Mandab strait.

- A few days later the USS Mason claims to have been fired upon in the same area, and retaliates by destroying 3 Houthi radars on the coast (almost certainly the same ones that were involved in the attack on the UAE vessel).

Why on earth would the Houthis fire on a US ship? Haven't they enough enemies already, wreaking havoc on their country?

I am fairly certain that this was an unprovoked attack by the USS Mason on the radars as payback for the attack on the UAE vessel. And, to preclude any such future ventures.

The rest is just BS!

BrotherJoe

The initial reports that I heard stated that the missiles were fired from shore and fell short of the US vessel. Could the Houthis have seen a ship but have been unable to identify it as American at such long distances ?

Wrxally

Cui Bono? Al Saud and US defence contractors. Timing is suspicious , just as the Obama admin is criticizing Saudi brutishness and questions about its huge arms purchase appear in the MSM.

Andy

PL,

As far as I can tell there was no small boat attack on the USS Mason or any other US vessel.

Additionally, the Houthi coalition definitely has anti-ship missiles - they used one against a UAE vessel last week. They released a video showing the radar for the system, the missile launch and the hit on the ship. The hit was obviously filmed from a small boat nearby - it's also likely that boat passed targeting information to the cruise missile site. Here is the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNeEYlO3Iw

In March 2015 the Houthi's gained control of the Yemeni Navy base at Mocha which reportedly stored the Navy's c-801 cruise missiles. Houthi forces or their allies then used them at least 3 times in 2015 to attack Arab coalition ships in the Red Sea.

Finally, as for the inevitable theories that the US Navy "fabricated" this, that is something that only happens in novels. The number of conspirators needed to keep a fake attack secret is quite large and the US government leaks info like a sieve.

F5F5F5

According to Stars&Stripes, The USS Mason's Aegis system did detect and intercept two missiles fired from the Yemeni coast. The missiles fell respectively 12 and 8 miles from the ship.

According to other sources the missiles were either anti-ship Chinese C-802 or their Iranian variant, Noor.

Who fired these missiles is still unclear, but the destruction of those shore radars are clearly an advantage for US and allied navies which are now free to romp in this area.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

I'm open to the possibility this is part of a propaganda operation. I doubt the commander of a USN vessel would let themselves be attacked without some response. But we do have the bizarre incident of the Iranian Navy capturing those Navy guys ... last year was it? My how time flies. I guess the spirit of Admiral Farragut is wispy and vaporous indeed. That or someone's pulling some wool.

b

All sources from Yemen say the know of no attack and the Houthis and Saleh say explicitly they did not attack. There is also little motive on their side as they are obviously aware of the consequences. No one but the U.S. ship itself reported an attack.

Reuters reported a few days ago that the U.S. fears, and State discusses, possible negative legal consequences from the U.S. supported Saudi attacks in Yemen. There is also lobbying within and outside of Senate against that support. An "attack" makes "defense" legal and thereby enables the Obama administration to continue its support for the Saudis without further trouble. Problem solved! Neither CBS nor ABC nor CNN reported the 18 month long U.S. support for Saudis last night when they reported the U.S. strike on "Iran supported Houthis"! Nothing about the 10,000 dead and millions near famine in Yemen and who caused them and the heavy U.S. involvement in it (5,700 refueling flights, $billions of ammunition sales)!

The above speaks for a "Gulf of Tonkin" event.

There is also the possibility of a false flag attack.

The attack took place on the western Yemeni coast but near the southern end. The area is not under full Houthi control. Al-Qaeda and other Saudi supported tribal forces are also there especially west and south of Taiz. Since March Al-Qaeda in Yemen has been observed and pictured with RPG-32 and other modern anti-tank weapons. (We can guess from where.)

All attacking missile were reported has have fallen short. Only the second ship launched countermeasures. The countermeasure from Lockheed includes a decoy rockets system that is designed to attract terminal-radar steered missiles (like the C-802 silkworm) onto itself. But the missiles fell short - they did not seek/hit the decoy (which stays quite near to, above the ship). The C-802 also has a good range (120km at least.) Four were launched if you believe the latest navy spin. It is implausible that the Houthi or Saleh's troops would fire four(!) of the few they probably have and all fell short. Especially as the one fired against the UAE fast supply ship was a really good hit.

This above points to the possibility of a false flag attack with shorter range anti-tank weapons ("missiles") by AQ or other Saudi/UAE aligned forces. If it was it obviously had the desired effect.

b

Funny and very sad - today the NYT headlines and "reports" that the Houthis "believe" that the "hidden hand" of the U.S. supports the Saudis.

I wonder how the Houthi got that "believe"? Might it be because they "know" of "public" U.S. support from dozens of earlier factual NYT reports and official U.S. statements that say so?

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/14/world/middleeast/yemen-united-states-missiles-radar.html
"Yemen Sees U.S. Strikes as Evidence of Hidden Hand Behind Saudi Air War"

Dear Americans, your media are an absurd mess.

Tidewater

Tidewater to All,

Did the United States just knock out three of the most important aids to international commercial navigation on the littoral of the Arabian shore of the Red Sea?

I have tried to imagine what it would be like to be part of an Islamist team, one that is detailed to launch an attack with a Noor on an American warship. I think I would pick my spot carefully, with an eye to a ravine you could duck into, and scramble down, off site, if the worst happened. The worst would be when the SLQ-32 system ("Slick-32" to its masters) picked up the critical moment of the Designation Phase, when the target (their ship) is "painted," by what I imagine to be a radar that is attached to the two-box truck which brought the missiles, a truck that is also capable of launching them. Once painted, the coordinates of the location of the target are programmed into the missiles' onboard computer. Previously, the two missiles must have been linked by the wire of,say, a field telephone, in order that there is such synchronicity in the launch that the one does not kill the other. After that, the two missiles can be launched. There are now, with upgrades, at least dual guidance systems; the Noor has a datalink, which means that the fire-team can monitor and correct the glide path of the missile by television. I assume you can launch a Noor out of a box made of two by sixes, if need be. I feel certain that you also take both missiles and radar off the truck and manhandle them where you want them to be. (Over by the ravine.) So the Noor is "shoot and scoot', as those who have done it, such as TTG, have already explained , if with mortars.

Now, the DDG with the 'Slick-32' may have reasons to hold off a few seconds or minutes from launching the Tomahawk, though it should be noted that its maker, Raytheon (or "Raya-thon"), has told us: "It can detect aircraft search and target radars well before they detect the ship." ('A Proxy War Between Saudi Arabia and Iran has spilled over the shoreline and into international waters.')

Here is what is interesting about the situation. If there are aids to commercial navigation , say as a part of the varied and sundry electronic systems array of a lighthouse, then the target, the ship, if it has come into range of the radar sweep, will be very clearly "painted' by the lighthouse radar. The more powerful transmitter of the lighthouse radar will serve as a booster to making the Designation, and you can quickly lock-on to the ship. The "Designator" does not now have to dawdle over his little black and green screen of his portable radar worrying about whether or not that additional white fleck, (a whitecap) is 'clutter,' or something else. He also does not need to patiently greasepencil in three or four dots, over long seconds of sweep by sweep,to see how fast the target is moving, and in what direction. This is not unknown Neptune Ruby, bound for Mombasa. You already know who it is from your scouts. Who knows when they started to report in? They may have started reporting in from Naples, since the folks that serve Fleet Landing have a Need to Know. ("Anna, come quickly from Ischia! They're back!") The target will have been watched for days, or weeks. And you cannot sink a little fishing boat loaded with tax-free Khat, Johnny Walker Red Label, and gelignite, just because it is out there in their own waters.

If the American attack was made on the portable radar systems of a Noor missile, then why would US officials suggest that the radars are fixed radars?

"US officials said the Houthi had seized the coastal radar facilities at Ras Isa, Mukha (Mocca, where coffee came from?) and used them to track and target vessels at sea with anti-ship missiles."

Coastal. Radar. Facility.

That is not what the Noor or Chinese C-802 antiship missile is. It is not a "facility." It is a missile on a truck that is transporting also a small radar. Nobody needs to "seize" it because someone, probably Iran, using covert methods, has shipped the whole ensemble into Yemen without anyone knowing, and then has transported and then has hidden the entire thing somewhere. It's portable!

And this is exactly what the Jewish state said about its destruction of the radar used for navigation off of Beirut, after the 2006 hit on the INS Hanit. The Israeli spokesmen said that Hezbollah had "seized" the lighthouse facilities and radar stations. The Americans and the legacy Jews are now repeating each other.

Question. Why do you need to seize a radar station to use or misuse it? It is there, free, giving a powerful "return" on everything out there, and all you have to do is tune in. From anywhere within range. In fact, a seizure would surely be reported, be a possible tip-off, and allow the ship the needed time to simply steam out of there.

If Americans and Israeli spokesmen are saying the same thing, are these two situations similar? Well, let's put it this way. If a terrorist attack using Noor was launched off of Juan les Pins, or Menton, would French navigational radar such as at Toulouse, be knocked out?

The difference here is that when you knock out the radar at Beirut, you are not on the navigational route of 8-10 per cent of the world's oil. Up a waterway that famously has a lot of coral reefs and islands and requires passage through certain designated shipping lanes which are often near islands. And is rapidly becoming hostile.

Focussing on Ras Isa, one of the three destroyed facilities. Which we are told were not particularly important. It needs to be pointed out that the oil pipeline from Marib runs from 107 miles east of Sanaa, drops down below the city, and then ends up at Ras Isa (a total of 272 miles), where it then is either partially stored (I infer from photos) in one or two white storage tanks on shore, or is pumped out through an undersea pipeline to a 409,000 DWT Floating Storage and Offloading Vessel (FSO Safer) which is permanently moored 4.8 nautical miles offshore. There are fixed mooring buoys in an anchorage nearby. The visiting tanker having arrived, no doubt relying (as in a sandstorm )on the port's radar, presumably associated with a lighthouse--and lighthouses are on most of the larger islands, such as the French built lighthouse on at least one of the three Hanish Islands, perched on top of reddish, burnt umber, tree-less, waterless, something that looks like an enormous partially sunken meteorite, hundreds of feet high. This tanker will pick up its mooring, tie up to the buoy, then pick up the nozzle of the hose from the Safer which will extend a safe distance, and will spend hours taking on board its cargo.

There is also a concrete pier off of Ras Isa in a protected area tucked in behind Kamaran Island. This is a place where all the color and beauty of our world is only to be found underwater. It was also a quarantine station under the rule of the Ottomans for pilgrims making Haj.

The Marib pipeline has a capacity of 200,000 barrels of light crude a day. Normally about 125,000 barrels a day flow through it, and it is all for export, unlike the natural gas line from Marib, which is a different story. Ras Isa is one of the most important ports of Yemen, though a ship could not even take on water there, or obtain fuel. When the Marib pipeline was severed by "tribesmen" in 2012, Yemen lost more than four billion dollars.

If it is true that the United States has destroyed three lighthouses/ radar complexes that make it much, much safer for an important amount of the world's shipping, including LNG carriers, to make passage up the Red Sea, the first question that has to be asked is, did that really happen? There has got to be an explanation about these "fixed" facilites. What were they?

I can guess that one way we will begin to find out is when there is a sudden annnouncement that shipping insurance in that region has suddenly gone sky high.

This is incredible!

ancient archer

KSA?
And of course, the US which now has a valid (and explainable to the sheeple back stateside) reason for getting involved in the war in Yemen. It's not just R2P anymore (maybe that reason is getting old and overused). It's self defence

Earthrise

I just read this article on Southfront, one of the most important I have read:

https://southfront.org/the-possible-russian-military-base-in-egypt-and-global-oil-market-redistribution/

Tigermoth

Here are links to 3 USNI News articles on the incidents: FYI sunset is at 17hr43 in Yemen at the moment.

https://news.usni.org/2016/10/11/uss-mason-fired-3-missiles-to-defend-from-yemen-cruise-missiles-attack?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=%2ASituation%20Report

https://news.usni.org/2016/10/12/pentagon-respond-appropriate-manner-new-missile-attack-uss-mason-yemen

https://news.usni.org/2016/10/13/video-uss-nitze-destroys-3-houthi-controlled-radar-sites-retaliatory-strike

All attacks were by missile no smallcraft at all.

"...The crew of a guided-missile destroyer fired three missiles to defend themselves and another ship after being attacked on Sunday in the Red Sea by two presumed cruise missiles fired by Iran-backed Houthi-forces, USNI News has learned.

Mason launched two Standard Missile-2s (SM-2s) and a single Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM) to intercept the two missiles that were launched about 7 P.M. local time. In addition to the missiles, the ship used its Nulka anti-ship missile decoy, the sources confirmed. Mason was operating in international waters north of the strait of Bab el-Mandeb at the time of the attack..."

"...Houthi rebels fired two more cruise missiles at the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG-87) on Wednesday and Pentagon officials are pledging a response, DoD spokesman Peter Cook said in a Wednesday statement.

“For the second time in four days, USS Mason responded to an incoming missile threat while conducting routine operations in international waters off the Red Sea coast of Yemen,” Cook said.
“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.”

Mason was operating in the strait of Bab el-Mandeb when two costal defense missiles were launched at the ship from the vicinity of southern city of Al Hudaydah at around 1800 local time (1100 EST), according to information from defense officials provided to USNI News..."

"...A Navy guided missile destroyer launched an attack against three radar sites in Yemen with Tomahawk cruise missiles in response to recent attacks on U.S. ships in the region, the Pentagon announced late Wednesday.

USS Nitze (DDG-94) launched an unknown number of the Tomahawks against the installations along the Red Sea and north of the strait of Bab el-Mandeb around 4 a.m. local time on Thursday (about 9 p.m. Wednesday EST).

“Initial assessments indicate that all three targets were destroyed,” read a statement from a U.S. defense official issued to the press late Wednesday.
“These radars were active during previous attacks and attempted attacks on ships in the Red Sea, including last week’s attack on the USA-flagged vessel “Swift-2″, and during attempted attacks on USS Mason and other ships as recently as today.”..."

Past Houthi/Yemen Army ship attacks:

http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/02/houthis-destroy-11-saudi-warships-in-6.html

"...A source in military circles confirmed that it is already the 11th sunken ship over the past six months. Recall that the previous successful attack took place on the 4th February. On that day the militias of the "Houthi" movement sank 4 boats belonging to Saudi Arabia..."

Southfront 15/12/2015 article lists the dates of 8 sinkings last year.

https://southfront.org/2-other-saudi-warships-were-destroyed-by-yemeni-forces/

"...The Saudi warships were reportedly two destroyers and were targeted by the Yemeni army missiles in the Al-Mukha coastal waters in the province of Ta’iz on Tuesday...

For several months now the Saudi-led forces have been trying to win control over the coastal regions near the waterway. The developing of the battle is as follows:

On December 11, the Yemeni forces destroyed a Saudi warship in the Bab-Mandab Strait.
On December 5, the Yemeni forces targeted and destroyed a Saudi warship in the waters near Bab al-Mandab Strait.
On November 25, the Yemeni forces targeted and destroyed a Saudi warship in the waters near Bab al-Mandab Strait.
On November 15, Yemeni forces destroyed a Saudi-led coalition warship al-Mukha coast.
On November 7, Yemeni forces fired rockets at a Saudi-led coalition warship and destroyed it near al-Mukha coast.
On October 25, the Yemeni forces hit and destroyed another Saudi warship in Bab al-Mandab Strait
On October 11, another ship which belonged to the Egyptian army and named al-Mahrousa was destroyed by Yemeni missiles in the coastal waters near al-Mukha coast.
On October 9, Yemeni army and popular forces also fired missiles at a Saudi warship, and destroyed it in Bab al-Mandab Strait.
The warship was wrecked off the Southwestern coast of Yemen, in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, which makes the connection between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden."

This indicates there is a competent anti-ship outfit operating, although there has been a gap of a few months with no ships sunk.

THe USNI article indicates that the 3 radar stations were operating during the Swift boat attack (US flagged according to the article) and the USS Mason attacks.

The indicate a Chinese made C-208 missile as most likely on the Swift boat.

My question to Col Lang is IYO whom might have this kind of anti-ship capability in Yemen?

Other questions are:

Are the launch platforms for the C-208 mobile?

If there were a total 2 to 4 missiles fired at the USS Mason on two occasions why did they all seem to fall short? That doesn't seem consistent with 12 hit targets in the past year.

Were the 3 radar stations just monitoring the coastal waters or used for targeting? Youtube videos of prior sinkings indicate the Yemenis use visual recon from small boats possibly like in the Swift attack videos.

Is this preparation for a landing force?

Who benefits? CNN news check latest 50 articles: None on Sanna Funeral bombing. Poof it's gone. BBC: none, Fox News:1, Associated Press: none, South African News24 doesn't even mention Yemen at all, LOL.

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