US and UK Initiate New Attacks on Houthis


The US and UK have initiated joint air strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, according to two US defence officials. The strikes are targeting a variety of sites, including radars. The Iran-backed Houthis have been attacking ships they claim are associated with Israel that traverse the crucial Red Sea trade route. The US and UK have previously stated their intention to safeguard this route.

This marks the eighth US strike against Houthi targets in Yemen and the second joint operation with the UK, following attacks on 11 January. US fighter jets from the USS Eisenhower were reportedly involved in these recent strikes. Most of the previous strikes were aimed at individual missiles thought to be readied for launch by the Houthis.

The strikes follow a conversation between US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier on Monday. They discussed the ongoing Houthi attacks on merchant and naval vessels in the Red Sea and reaffirmed their commitment to freedom of navigation, international commerce, and protecting sailors from illegal and unjustified attacks.

The Houthis started attacking merchant vessels in November, claiming to be responding to Israel’s military ground operation in Gaza. Since then, they have launched numerous attacks on commercial tankers in the Red Sea, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. In response, the US and UK, supported by Australia, Bahrain, the Netherlands and Canada, launched a series of air strikes against Houthi targets on 11 January after Houthi forces ignored a cease-attacks ultimatum.

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