After US strike Yemen threatens 'a graveyard for America'
The cruise missile strikes carried out by the U.S. Navy against Houthi positions in Yemen has sparked outrage from all sides in the Yemeni conflict, ranging from warnings to the U.S. that the war-riven land would become "a graveyard for America,' to accusations of 'staging a drama' to justify military intervention.
For the first time since war erupted between Houthi rebels and government-backed forces over a year ago, the U.S. has directly gotten involved in the Yemeni conflict. Late Wednesday, the U.S Navy destroyer USS Nitze launched three Tomahawk cruise missiles on three radar sites on Yemen's Red Sea coast that are controlled by the Houthis, in retaliation for failed missile attacks against U.S Navy destroyer Mason earlier this week, Reuters reported.
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The strikes were authorized by President Obama, the Pentagon said in a statement. "These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships, and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway," the statement said. "The United States will respond to any further threat to our ships and commercial traffic, as appropriate, and will continue to maintain our freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandeb, and elsewhere around the world."
In response, people in Yemen threatened the U.S., saying "America is intervening directly after the failure of its tails (Saudi Arabia), you are welcome, your graveyards are ready." Some affiliated with the Houthi militia said that "after the failure of its allies, the great Satan America is bombing the Yemeni people. Its agents and traitors are waiting for the occupier, as he's the savior."
"Since the beginning of the war, everyone who participated in the war in Yemen has been defeated. America's participation in the war to save the Saudis won't change anything. Yemen is the graveyard of the invaders, America, and others," wrote one user in Arabic.
However, even those fighting the Houthis are unhappy about this latest development. Saudis said the U.S. intervention was designed to embarrass their leaders, who after more than a year of backing the deposed government, have failed to wrest control of the country back from the rebels. Some called for a boycott of American goods and warned that American intervention would turn Yemen into "a new Iraq that will unite the Yemenis, the Houthis and al-Qaeda against them."
Saudi Arabia and its mostly Gulf Arab allies intervened in Yemen's war in March 2015, after the armed Shiite Houthi movement pushed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile in Saudi Arabia. Saudi accuses Iran of backing the rebels, something the Houthis deny. But the war has taken its toll on Yemen, already the poorest Arab nation. The United Nations reported last August that at least 10,000 people have been killed in the war, and that over 100,000 children under the age of 5 are at risk of severe malnutrition.
More on the political climate in Yemen
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