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INCREASING AMERICAN PRESENCE IN THE GULF OF ADEN





İlknur Şebnem Öztemel-TDO- The US Navy decided to deploy two more Arleigh-Burke class destroyers which is one of the most developed guided destroyers in the World,to the Red Sea in order to prevent attacks from Yemeni Houthi rebels.

Arleigh-Burke class destroyers, named after successful command of the Second World War, has Aegis Combat Systems, Anti-Submarine warfare systems (ASW), Anti-surface warfare systems (ASUW), Tomahawk missiles, Harpoon missile systems. It is heavily equipped with above 90 missiles, more than any of its equivalents.

An officer from the Defense Department said that the US Navy maintains its continuous combat-ready force in  the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea to protect the free-flow of commerce, reassure their allies and partners and deter acts of aggression against  their forces and partners.

Decision came right after a suicide attack conducted by Houthi rebels that killed two sailors on the Saudi Navy's frigate Al Madinah. Also, in October, Houthi rebels conducted a missile strike against US Navy. One of the missiles was destroyed by fire from USS Mason destroyer, while another missile missed completely. The attack was followed by a retaliation cruise missile strike which destroyed ground-based radars in Houthi-controlled territory. Moreover, in 2000, USS Cole was attacked by an al-Qaeda suicide boat,17 sailors were killed, 39 were injured and it was about to sank.It has been reported that the situation became more critical after Saudi Arabia-led military operation to Yemen was started in January. It has been asserted that rebels have fled, mined harbors with sea mines and shores with land mines.

USA, The European Union, Russia and China conduct military patrols against pirates there and China has started building its own naval base in Djibouti to support the operations. Furthermore, Parliament of Somaliland which has declared its independence unilaterally in 1991 let BAE to build its own military base in the land.