Navy jets hit suspected chemical plant in Yemen
The Navy’s fleet of F-15E Strike Eagles is poised to strike suspected chemical plants in Yemen on Thursday, a U.S. defense official said.
The strike is part of the coalition’s strategy to deter the spread of the Islamic State group and protect its allies, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the operation was not yet publicly announced.
The official said that the strikes would be the first such action in Yemen in recent years.
The Pentagon declined to say when the operation might be carried out.
A U.N. investigation found that the plant in Taiz, north of the capital Sanaa, was operating with suspected chemicals on Jan. 20.
It has since been shut down, but U.K.-based group Oxfam said it had collected samples from the facility.
The U.F.O. team that inspected the plant found it had “serious chemical contamination,” Oxfam and a U,N.
team said in a statement.
Last month, the U.C.L.A. and other medical experts warned that Yemen’s military, which is backed by the U to the tune of $7 billion in aid, was engaged in widespread human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary arrests and rape.