U.S., Britain strike multiple Houthi targets in Yemen

U.S., Britain strike multiple Houthi targets in Yemen

Jan. 22 (UPI) — The United States and Britain conducted airstrikes late Monday in Yemen, hitting eight locations under the Houthis’ control as the Biden administration seeks to degrade the Iran-backed militia’s ability to attack commercial shipping vessels in the Middle East.

The strikes were launched right before midnight local time, U.S. Central Command said. Between 25 and 30 precision-guided munitions, including Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, were used in the attack that involved U.S. Navy and British Armed Forces fighter jets, among other assets, and which hit “multiple targets” at the eight locations under the Houthis’ control, a senior military official told reporters in a briefing on the strikes.

Among the targets hit include a Houthi underground storage site as well as locations associated with the Houthis’ missile and air surveillance capabilities.

“We do assess that the strike was successful and achieved the desired effect of removing these capabilities from the Houthis,” the official said.

It is the eight round of attacks by the U.S. military since its first retaliatory strike on Jan. 11.

“Our aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea, but let us reiterate our warning to Houthi leadership: we will not hesitate to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways in the face of continued threats,” the United States and Britain along with Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands, which provided support in Monday’s attack, said in a joint statement.

The U.S.-led strikes seek to deter the Houthis from its continued attacks on commercial shipping vessels transiting the important trade route of the Red Sea.

According to a senior defense official, the Houthis have launched attacks on at least 33 ships since Nov. 19 with anti-ship and close-range ballistic missiles, land attack cruise missiles and drones.

Among the attacks include a New York-bound ship with 16 million gallons of jet fuel and a Japan-owned vessel, which the Houthis seized along with its crew.

The attacks have also led to 14 shipping companies to cease Red Sea operations, the senior defense official said.

The Houthis have vowed to attack ships transiting the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden in response to Israel’s war in Gaza against Hamas, another Iran proxy militia.

Following the U.S.-led strike, the Houthis said they won’t be deterred.

“Your strikes will only make the Yemeni people stronger and more determined to confront you,” Houthi leader Mohamed Ali al-Houthi said in a statement on X.

“The Americans and British must understand that we are in a time of response and that our people do not know how to surrender.”

The strike on Monday occurred after President Joe Biden spoke on the phone with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain. According to a White House readout of the conversation, the two leaders discussed the continued Red Sea attacks, and reiterated “their commitment to freedom of navigation, international commerce and defending mariners from illegal and unjustifiable attacks.”


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