Interesting. The “possibility”…if they hand over all the Cole bombers?
U.S. Navy Yet To Return to Aden
By christopher p. cavas
Once terrorists have chased out United States forces, do those forces go back?
Not in the case of Yemen and the USS Cole.
The Navy confirmed April 10 that no port visits have been conducted in the port of Aden since the Oct. 12, 2000, terrorist attack on the destroyer Cole. Seventeen American sailors were killed and 39 wounded in the attack, which took place during what was intended as a brief refueling stopover.
Aden is in a key location for U.S. and coalition forces, who routinely operate out of nearby Djibouti and patrol the Horn of Africa region.
The issue was broached April 8 during a Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee hearing when Chairman Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., mentioned he’d recently been told “naval ships don’t go back into Aden” since the attack.
“A person was talking to me,” Kennedy said. “This person mentioned to me that this has some significance, because they’re trying to make the point that Al Qaida is making, that once the United States leaves, it doesn’t come back. And they were using the fact that there had been the attack on the Cole and we haven’t had a Navy ship that’s come back into Aden.
“And they used other examples – the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia – that once Americans have left places, they don’t come back. And if they leave in Iraq, they’re not coming back.”
Terrorists attacked a U.S. apartment building complex called Khobar Towers in June 1996, killing 20 people, including 19 U.S. service members, and wounding 372.
“It was just an interesting point,” Kennedy said, admitting it was “sort of an off-the-wall question.”
Vice Adm. Barry McCullough, deputy chief of naval operations, replied that he would check on the correct answer, supplied two days later by a Navy spokesman.
“The Navy has not conducted port visits in Yemen since the attack on the USS Cole,” said Lt. Clayton Doss. “We are working closely with Yemen on a range of issues, including the possibility of port visits.”
Kennedy said the issue came up when he was preparing for Senate hearings begun earlier on April 8 with Army Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. ground commander in Iraq.