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14 Jan, 2024 04:14

Pentagon ‘frustrated’ with UK over Yemen leak – Telegraph

News of the upcoming strikes on Houthi sites was leaked to the British press hours before they began
Pentagon ‘frustrated’ with UK over Yemen leak – Telegraph

US officials are fuming over the leaking to the UK media by the British government of the decision to carry out strikes in Yemen, the Telegraph has reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. 

According to the article, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made his decision to greenlight the military operation during an urgent cabinet meeting at around 11 am local time on Thursday. Usually, such strikes are officially announced only after the bombers have returned to their bases.

The news about the meeting and its agenda was soon leaked to The Times, however, which reported that the UK and the US would initiate the strikes “within hours.” 

The US military “expressed frustration with their counterparts,” the Telegraph quoted its “well-placed” source as saying. The paper added that the UK government had tried to determine how the sensitive information was leaked. The source described the reaction of officials as “deep disappointment.” 

The US did not publicly comment on the reporting surrounding the preparation of the strikes. UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps told the Telegraph on Friday that he was “not aware of any frustrations in Washington.” 

During Thursday’s strikes, the allies hit sites linked to the production of drones and missiles used by the Houthis to attack commercial shipping via the vital Red Sea route, the White House said. An American destroyer separately fired Tomahawk cruise missiles at a radar facility the next day, according to the US Central Command.

The Houthis – a Shia Islamist group that has been controlling a large part of Yemen since the mid-2010s – has vowed to continue attacks on “Israel-linked” merchant vessels until Israel ends its war with Hamas in Gaza.