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The Navy executed cruise-missile strikes against targets in Yemen Oct. 13, following recent attacks upon the destroyer Mason and two other ships that originated from the sites. The destroyer Nitze launched the attacks while operating in the Gulf of Aden. “These targets were chosen based on our assessment that they were involved in missile launches in recent days, and they were struck in order to defend our ships and their crews and to protect freedom of navigation through a waterway that is vitally important to international commerce,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said. He added that the missions were not intended to spur an escalation of combat operations in Yemen.