U.S. sends more warships to monitor hostage crisis
The United States is sending more warships to monitor a hostage crisis in the Indian Ocean and 450 km off the Somali coast, officials said on Friday.
The guided missile frigate USS Halyburton, with helicopter capabilities, has now joined the guided missile destroyer USS Bainbridge in that area, unnamed U.S. defense officials were quoted as saying by CNN.
A third ship, the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, which has a large medical facility on board, will be there within a day.
Two days after the U.S.-flagged cargo ship Maersk Alabama was attacked by pirates, the ship’s captain Richard Phillips is still being held by the pirates in a lifeboat.
With the rest of the 21 American crew members on board, Maersk Alabama is heading to Kenya under the escort of a U.S. security team, but the pirates in the lifeboat showed no sign of give-in during the standoff with U.S. warships.
Philips tried to escape from the pirates on Thursday night by jumping out of the lifeboat, apparently trying to swim to the USS Bainbridge, which is in communication with the four pirates in the lifeboat.
Some of the kidnappers jumped into the water, recaptured Phillips, and returned him to the lifeboat, according to U.S. officials.
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USS Boxer (LHD 4)
Home – USS BOXER (LHD 4)
USS Halyburton (FFG 40)
USS Halyburton (FFG-40)
USS HALYBURTON (FFG 40)
Okay, that’s a nice show of force, but what are the additional ships going to do, besides monitor the situation? We’ve already telegraphed our unwillingness to use force with a hostage involved by letting this standoff fester for three days now.
U.S. Warship Shadows Somali Pirates With Hostage
With one warship nearby and more on the way, piracy expert Roger Middleton of the London-based think tank Chatham House said the pirates were in “a very, very tight corner.”
They’ve got only one guy, they’ve got nowhere to hide him, they’ve got no way to defend themselves effectively against the military who are on the way and they are hundreds of miles from Somalia,” he said.
Other analysts say the U.S. will be reluctant to use force as long as one of its citizens remains hostage.
And the Somalis are looking to take full advantage of our squeamish hesitation. Tight corner? They’re not only unimpressed by the three U.S. warships surrounding their four comrades, bobbing up and down in a powerless lifeboat, they’re demanding a ransom and going on the offensive!
Somali pirates sail German ship to standoff scene
Somali pirates holding foreign sailors on a hijacked German ship are heading towards a lifeboat where they are holding an American captain hostage. It is thought they intend to use the ship as a shield.
A pirate source told Reuters that the pirates are counting on the fact that the Americans will not destroy the German ship in any attempt to rescue Captain Richard Phillips.
Four heavily armed pirates holding the US Navy captain hostage in a lifeboat far off the Somali coast in the Indian Ocean since Wednesday have been communicating with other pirate gangs who are now sailing a hijacked German ship to the site to avoid being attacked should US warships launch a rescue attempt.
It’s unclear which German ship the pirates are sailing towards the lifeboat. The 20,000 tonne container carrier Hansa Stavanger with 24 crew on board, including five German nationals, was captured on April 4.
. . .
“We are not afraid,” say pirates
Two boats full of heavily-armed fellow pirates have taken up position near lifeboat but are too nervous to come near due to the presence of foreign naval ships including US warships.
“We are not afraid of the Americans,” one of the pirates told Reuters by satellite phone on behalf of the pirates holding Phillips, far off the Somali coast in the Indian Ocean. “We will defend ourselves if attacked.”
Somali Pirates Send More Ships to Area of Standoff with US
Somali pirates move to aid comrades, hostage recaptured
Enemies of All Mankind: Who Can Stop the Pirates?
Obama And The Pirates
So, let’s recap. Three days ago, we were dealing with four pirate terrorists, holding one hostage, floating in a powerless lifeboat and we did nothing. Now, we’re dealing with lots more pirate terrorists, in more ships and boats, sporting a regular international menagerie of previously captured hostages and we’re still doing nothing other than watching them.
It looks like the pirates’ plan is pretty simple. They’re bringing in more of their hostages to use as human shields while they just motor up to the lifeboat and retrieve their buddies and their newest hostage. Then they’ll sail back to port while several U.S. warships just sit and watch the whole thing.
/does Obama have a plan besides voyeurism?
FNC is reporting that the pirate controlled German hostage ship has turned back to port, unable to locate the lifeboat.
Pirates on German ship fail to find U.S. standoff
Pirates on a German ship with 24 foreign hostages said on Saturday they had returned to the Somali coast after failing to locate the scene of a standoff involving an American captive on a drifting lifeboat.
Pirates had hoped to use the hijacked 20,000-tonne container vessel, Hansa Stavanger, as a “shield” to reach fellow pirates holding American ship captain Richard Phillips far out in the Indian Ocean. U.S. naval ships are close to the lifeboat.
“We have come back to Haradheere coast. We could not locate the lifeboat,” one pirate on the German ship, who identified himself as Suleiman, told Reuters. “We almost got lost because we could not find the bearing of the lifeboat.”
They’ll surely regroup and try again.
/we’ll see what happens, but this circus has already gone on way too long already
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Barack Obama, Gulf Of Aden, Maersk Alabama, Military, Pirates, Richard Phillips, Somalia, U.S. Navy, USS Bainbridge, USS Boxer, USS Halyburton | 5 Comments »