Breaking-TLAM Warships Strike Al Qaeda
The attack was against Al Qaeda training attacks in Yemen, and according to ABC News, from warships using Tomahawk land attack missiles:
On orders from President Barack Obama, the U.S. military launched cruise missiles early Thursday against two suspected al-Qaeda sites in Yemen, administration officials told ABC News in a report broadcast on ABC World News with Charles Gibson.
One of the targeted sites was a suspected al Qaeda training camp north of the capitol, Sanaa, and the second target was a location where officials said “an imminent attack against a U.S. asset was being planned.” The Yemen attacks by the U.S. military represent a major escalation of the Obama administration’s campaign against al Qaeda.
In his speech about added troops for Afghanistan earlier this month, President Obama made a brief reference to Yemen, saying, “Where al Qaeda and its allies attempt to establish a foothold — whether in Somalia or Yemen or elsewhere — they must be confronted by growing pressure and strong partnerships.”
Recall that recently we reported the US Navy, led by the guided missile cruiser USS Chosin was headed for Yemeni waters. This is an excellent example of the use of such warships in the power projection role, in absence of aircraft carriers. Bill Roggio has more details:
The cruise missile strikes, which were first reported by ABC News, took place within a week after it was disclosed that US Special Forces have deployed to Yemen to work with the country’s army. The US has also recently deployed unmanned Reaper strike aircraft in the region, under the guise of supporting anti-piracy operations off of the coast of Somalia. Reapers and Predators are used extensively in the covert US air war in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
Since there were Reapers already available, not sure why we expended cruise missiles on the raid, but glad the Navy got in on the show. As we have said all week, these are the type of operations the admirals should plan for, and the use of missiles and UAVs are very cost effective and effective ways of deploying airpower