US and UK launch fresh strikes on Houthis in Yemen

Published January 23, 2024

The US and UK have conducted a fresh series of joint air strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen.

The Pentagon said Monday’s strikes hit eight targets, including an underground storage site and Houthi missile and surveillance capability.

The Iran-backed Houthis have been targeting ships they say are linked to Israel and the West that travel through the important Red Sea trade route.

The US and UK said they were trying to protect the “free flow of commerce”.

A joint statement issued by the Pentagon confirmed “an additional round of proportionate and necessary strikes” against the Houthis.

The statement added: “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.”

This is the eighth strike by the US against Houthi targets in Yemen. It is the second joint operation with the UK, after joint strikes were carried out on 11 January.

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron told reporters the UK had sent a “clear message” and that it will “continue to degrade” the Houthis’ ability to carry out attacks.

Asked whether the strikes could escalate tensions in the Middle East, Lord Cameron said it was the Houthis who were escalating the situation and he was “confident” the previous strikes had been effective.

He went on to say the Houthis’ narrative that the strikes were related to the war between Israel and Hamas “shouldn’t be accepted”, and the UK wants to see a “swift end to the conflict” in Gaza.

Lord Cameron said the UK had called for an “immediate humanitarian pause” and that “we want it to turn into permanent, sustainable ceasefire”. It is a plan he will put forward when visiting the region this week, he said.



RELATED: US and UK carry out additional strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen

Published January 22, 2024

The US and UK carried out additional strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen on Monday, marking the eighth round of attacks by the US military on the rebels’ infrastructure in just over 10 days, according to a joint statement.

They struck eight sites, according to the statement from the US and UK, which conducted the strikes, and Canada, the Netherlands, Bahrain, and Australia, which supported the attacks.

The latest strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen were “successful” and destroyed missiles, weapons storage sites and drone systems, according to a senior military official and a senior defense official.

The officials, who briefed reporters following the Monday afternoon operation, said the strikes “achieved the desired effect.”

It was a smaller number than the first joint operation on January 11 that struck over 30 Houthi targets. Monday’s strikes targeted a Houthi underground storage site and sites associates with Houthi missile and air surveillance, the statement added.

The US used fighter jets from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, as well as surface vessels and a submarine to strike eight locations, the senior military official said. In all, the official said approximately 25-30 precision guided munitions were fired at the targets, including Tomahawk cruise missiles.

President Joe Biden spoke to his British counterpart UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday, the White House said earlier in the day, about a range of topics including security in the Red Sea.

“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 countries said in their statement.

For the first time, the US also struck an underground storage facility used by the Houthis, the official said. The storage site was assessed to have “more advanced conventional weaponry,” including missiles and one-way attack drones.

Grant Shapps, the UK’s secretary of state for defense, said four British Typhoon fighter jets took part in the strikes on Houthi targets. He warned that the ongoing Houthi launches against commercial vessels “threaten the lives of sailors and disrupt shipping at an intolerable cost to the global economy.”

Following the latest round of US and UK airstrikes in Yemen on Monday, Houthi leader Mohamed Ali al-Houthi said the strikes would only strengthen the Yemeni people.

“Your strikes will only make the Yemeni people stronger and more determined to confront you, as you are the aggressors against our country,” he said in a statement posted on X.

The rebel group said the US and the UK launched 18 airstrikes on four governorates Monday night.

CNN reported on Monday that the US has named the ongoing operation to target Houthi assets in Yemen “Operation Poseidon Archer,” suggesting a more organized and potentially long-term approach to the operations in Yemen that have been aimed at deterring the Iranian-backed group from attacking commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

The US has now struck Houthi targets in Yemen eight times since January 11, the majority of which the US military has carried out unilaterally. The first wave of strikes, in which the US and UK hit approximately 30 sites across Houthi-controlled Yemen, marked the beginning of Operation Poseidon Archer, one official said.

The attacks have targeted the Houthis’ one-way attack drones, anti-ship ballistic missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles and more as the US has tried to disrupt the group’s ability to fire on international shipping lanes.



RELATED: US, UK strike eight Houthi targets over Red Sea shipping attacks

A Houthi underground storage site, as well as missile and surveillance capabilities, among targets in latest strikes.

Published January 22, 2024

The United States and the United Kingdom launched a new round of strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen as the Iran-aligned armed group continues to target commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

A joint statement from the two countries said they had carried out eight strikes on Monday night, with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands, targeting a Houthi underground storage site as well as missile and surveillance capabilities.

“These precision strikes are intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities that the Houthis use to threaten global trade and the lives of innocent mariners,” it said.

The Houthis have said the attacks are in response to Israel’s war in Gaza and to show their support for the Palestinians.

The group that controls much of Yemen has attacked dozens of ships in the major waterway since November, disrupting international maritime trade and raising concern about the impact on the global economy.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence said the Houthis have conducted more than 30 attacks on international shipping since mid-November.

It said the attacks on Houthi sites were to hold the group “accountable for their illegal and unjustifiable attacks on mariners and commercial shipping” as well as to “de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea”.

Monday’s strikes came after the Houthis claimed to have conducted a successful attack on the US military cargo ship Ocean Jazz in the Gulf of Aden.

US Naval Forces Central Command described the claims as “patently false” and said it had “maintained constant communications with M/V Ocean Jazz throughout its safe transit”.

The Houthis did not say when or precisely where the attack took place, or if any damage was caused.





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