14 October 2016 Israel Report
Tomahawk cruise missiles launched by US Navy destroyer USS Nitze early Thursday, October 13, destroyed three Iranian-Yemeni coastal radar stations, after C-802 anti-ship missiles supplied by Iran to Yemeni Houthi rebels were fired at US naval vessels off the Yemeni coast.
The stations were built and operated by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) for their Yemeni proxies to back up a threat to blockade the Red Sea.
From October 9, the new missiles four times targeted the US flotilla shortly after it arrived to patrol the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait. [See Israel Report 13 October 2016]
Neither the US nor Iran has acknowledged their mounting confrontation over control of these strategic waters, which Tehran is waging through its Yemeni proxy. Iran’s Guards are repeating the mode of operation they employed a decade ago at another Middle East flashpoint.
On July 14, 2006, Hizballah used an earlier version of the C-802 [pictured below] to attack and cripple the Israeli Hanit missile ship on the day this Iranian Lebanese proxy launched the Second Lebanese War against Israel.
Revolutionary Guards seized control of a Lebanese shore radar station to guide their aim.
A highly advanced radar installation is required for the use of the C-802. Two radar stations set up outside Yemen’s two principal Red Sea ports, Mokha and Hudaydah earlier this month were operated by Revolutionary Guards missile and radar teams until they were destroyedThursday.
The third station was added for triangulation. The destruction of all three by a US Tomahawk has knocked out the Houthis’ ability to use C-802 missiles and Iran’s threat to blockade the Red Sea.
To drive this lesson home, the US Pentagon issued the following statement:
“Destroying these radar sites will degrade their ability to track and target ships in the future. 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 yesterday”.
The official was referring to the United Arab Emirates US-flagged transport ship that was badly damaged last week in the Bab al-Mandeb strait by a Houthi missile.