US and UK Conduct Fresh Attacks on Yemen’s Houthis


The Pentagon has reported that US and UK fighter jets have conducted strikes on 18 Houthi-controlled locations in Yemen, marking the fourth joint operation of this kind. The strikes, which took place on Saturday, targeted storage facilities, drones, air defense systems, radars, and a helicopter belonging to the militant group. The UK stated that the operation aimed to further weaken Houthi capabilities.

The Iran-backed Houthis have been launching consistent attacks on shipping routes in the crucial Red Sea trade area. The group, which controls significant parts of Yemen including the capital Sanaa, has been targeting vessels they claim are associated with Israel and the West in retaliation to the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict.

Global supply chains are now experiencing significant disruption and increased costs due to major shipping companies rerouting their journeys to avoid the Red Sea, one of the busiest shipping lanes globally.

In a joint statement, the Pentagon detailed that the strikes were necessary and proportionate, targeting 18 Houthi sites across eight locations in Yemen. The statement emphasized that these precision strikes aimed to disrupt and degrade the capabilities that the Houthis use to threaten global trade, naval vessels, and innocent mariners in one of the world’s most critical waterways.

The statement also highlighted that the Houthis’ more than 45 attacks on commercial and naval vessels since mid-November pose a threat to the global economy and regional security and stability, necessitating an international response.

The operation was supported by Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin reiterated that the US would not hesitate to take necessary action to protect lives and ensure free commerce in crucial waterways. Similarly, UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps stressed their duty to protect lives at sea and maintain freedom of navigation.

Earlier in the day, the US military reported destroying seven Houthi mobile anti-ship missiles being prepared for strikes. Earlier this week, the crew of a Belize-flagged, British-registered cargo vessel abandoned ship off Yemen after it was hit by missiles fired by the Houthis.

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