U.S., UK Resume Air Strikes Against Yemen’s Huthis

Yemen's Huthis

Combined U.S. and British forces carried out a fresh wave of strikes Saturday against 18 Huthi targets in Yemen, hitting back after weeks of attacks on Red Sea shipping by the Iran-backed rebels.

Targets were hit across eight locations in Yemen” including weapons storage facilities, attack drones, air defense systems, radars and a helicopter, a joint statement said seen by AFP said.

It was co-signed by Australia, Bahrain, Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand, who gave unspecified “support” to the new round of strikes, the second this month and fourth since the rebels began their attacks on ships in the region, the AFP report details.

“The Huthis’ now more than 45 attacks on commercial and naval vessels since mid-November constitute a threat to the global economy, as well as regional security and stability, and demand an international response,” the statement said.

Huthi-run Al-Masirah television reported “a series of raids on the capital Sanaa,” while AFP correspondents in the rebel-controlled city in western Yemen said they heard several loud bangs.

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin said in a separate statement the air attacks were necessary to keep one of the world’s busiest waterways free for commercial navigation:

The United States will not hesitate to take action, as needed, to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways.

We will continue to make clear to the Huthis that they will bear the consequences if they do not stop their illegal attacks, which harm Middle Eastern economies, cause environmental damage, and disrupt the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen and other countries.

The UK Ministry of Defence said four Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4s targeted “several very long-range drones, used by the Houthis for both reconnaissance and attack missions,” on Saturday, at a site northeast of Sanaa.

A handout picture released by the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) on February 24, 2024 shows a Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 having Paveway IV weapons loaded by Weapon Technicians at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, in preparation for a strike on military targets in Yemen, on February 22, 2024. (Tim LAURENCE / MOD / AFP)

Smoke rises from the points where the US and UK had launched airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen on February 24, 2024. (Photo by Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Saturday’s operation comes after several merchant vessels were struck this week in the region, including the fertilizer-filled Rubymar, whose crew had to abandon ship after it was hit several days ago and began taking on water.

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