The USS Cole, which was targetted in an Al-Qaeda attack off the same shores in 2000, was allegedly redeployed from its operations in the Persian Gulf to a new station in the Bab al-Mandab Strait near Yemen. The USS Comstock and the USS Makin Island are also deployed in the same area as the Cole.
“They were moved down to the region in response to what happened to the Saudi frigate,” an anonymous official familiar with the matter told AFP.
Separately, two other defense officials confirmed the news to Reuters, adding, the USS Cole will now carry out patrols and escort vessels. In addition, Cole’s relocation was also confirmed by an anonymous defense official to USNI News, who called the decision a reaction to the Monday attack in which an alleged Houthi rebel explosive-laden suicide boat rammed into a Saudi Al Madinah-class frigate in the Red Sea.
The US Navy has yet to confirm the deployment.