Keyword: Strikes Headline: US and UK Launch Strikes on Houthi Targets in Yemen, Responding to Threats Against Red Sea Shipping

Yemen – The US and UK militaries launched strikes against multiple Houthi targets in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, responding to repeated drone and missile attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea. President Joe Biden stated that he ordered the strikes “in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea.” The strikes were conducted by US military forces, with support from the United Kingdom, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands.

The strikes targeted over 60 Houthi locations, including command and control nodes, munitions depots, launching systems, production facilities, and air defense radar systems. More than 100 precision-guided munitions were used. The US and coalition forces aimed to degrade the Houthi rebels’ ability to continue their attacks on vessels in the Red Sea.

The US had been hesitant to take direct action in Yemen due to concerns about escalating tensions in the region. However, the ongoing Houthi attacks on international shipping forced the coalition to intervene. The strikes mark the first known attack against the Houthis in Yemen, as the US has previously conducted airstrikes against Iranian proxies in Iraq and Syria.

The decision to carry out the strikes came after the Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping reached a tipping point. The attacks have disrupted international shipping routes, leading to concerns about the freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most critical waterways. The US and its allies view the Houthi attacks as a threat to global commerce and have warned of consequences if the attacks continue.

The strikes were conducted by fighter jets and Tomahawk missiles, targeting radar systems, drone storage and launch sites, ballistic missile storage and launch sites, and cruise missile storage and launch sites. It is unclear how much damage was inflicted on the Houthi assets, but a senior military official described it as “significant.”

The Houthi leadership has condemned the strikes, calling them “barbaric, terrorist, and deliberate aggression.” They warned that there will be a response, which will be “much more” than attacking US ships in the sea. The Pentagon has not observed any signs of retaliation by the Houthis so far.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who remains hospitalized following complications from surgery, ordered and monitored the strikes in real-time from the hospital. The US administration has signaled that there could be more action to come against the Houthis.

The US strikes in Yemen reflect the growing international concern over the threat to maritime security in the Red Sea. The Houthi attacks on commercial shipping have led to disruptions in the global economy and forced major shipping companies to alter their routes. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the Houthi attacks and demanded that they cease immediately.

It is important to note that the US considers its military action against the Houthis as defensive, rather than escalatory. The strikes aim to protect lives and preserve the free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways. The US has conducted nearly 400 airstrikes in Yemen since 2002, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

The strikes in Yemen come amid ongoing tensions in the Middle East, including the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The US and its allies are concerned about the wider regional implications of the Houthi attacks and are determined to hold the Iran-backed group accountable.