SANAA, Yemen – Yemeni and U.S. coast guards Wednesday were winding up joint military exercises in the Gulf of Aden where the destroyer USS Cole was attacked in 2000.
The weekly magazine al-Tjamoo said the exercises were designed to train Yemen’s coast guard on ways to foil suicide attacks that might target tankers and warships docking in Yemeni ports.
Nearly two dozen U.S. Army experts were involved in the exercises.
Under a cooperative agreement the United States has provided the Yemen forces with seven military patrol boats and other equipment to help them patrol the 1,200 mile shoreline. A neighbor of Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s shores extend from the Red Sea, through the Bab el Mandeb Strait to the Aden Gulf, a major shipping lane.
The Yemeni government says it needs at least 150 boats to be able to monitor properly the country’s shoreline to keep al Qaida from infiltrating the country, which in part consists of rugged terrain similar to Afghanistan.
In Oct. 2000 a suicide attack against USS Cole in the Port of Aden killed 17 U.S. Marines. The French giant tanker, the Limburg, was attacked off Yemen’s southern shores in 2002.