Yemen Houthi rebels fire missile at US warship in Red Sea in first attack after American-led strikes

Published January 14, 2024

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have fired an anti-ship cruise missile toward an American destroyer in the Red Sea

JERUSALEM — Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired an anti-ship cruise missile toward an American destroyer in the Red Sea but a U.S. fighter jet shot it down in the latest attack roiling global shipping amid Israel’s war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, officials said.

The attack on Sunday marks the first U.S.-acknowledged fire by the Houthis since America and allied nations began strikes Friday on the rebels following weeks of assaults on shipping in the Red Sea.

The Houthis have targeted that crucial corridor linking Asian and Mideast energy and cargo shipments to the Suez Canal onward to Europe over the Israel-Hamas war, attacks that threaten to widen that conflict into a regional conflagration.

The Houthis, a Shiite rebel group allied with Iran that seized Yemen’s capital in 2014, did not immediately acknowledge the attack.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the U.S. would retaliate for the latest attack, though President Joe Biden has said he “will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary.”



RELATED: Yemen’s Houthis vow strong response after new US strike

Published January 14, 2024

WASHINGTON/ADEN, Jan 13 (Reuters) – The Houthi militia threatened a “strong and effective response” after the United States carried out another strike in Yemen overnight, further ratcheting up tensions as Washington vowed to protect shipping from attacks by the Iran-aligned movement.

The strikes have added to concerns about the escalation of a conflict that has spread through the Middle East since the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel went to war, with Iran’s allies also entering the fray from Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

President Joe Biden said the United States had sent a private message to Iran about the Houthi attacks. He did not elaborate, telling reporters, “We delivered it privately and we’re confident we’re well-prepared.”

The latest strike, which the U.S. said hit a radar site, came a day after dozens of American and British strikes on Houthi facilities in Yemen.

“This new strike will have a firm, strong and effective response,” Houthi spokesperson Nasruldeen Amer told Al Jazeera, adding there had been no injuries nor “material damages.”



RELATED: Much of Houthis’ Offensive Ability Remains Intact After U.S.-Led Airstrikes

The strikes damaged the group’s ability to carry out complex missile and drone attacks, U.S. officials said, but identifying targets has proved to be a challenge.

The Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen have launched repeated strikes at ships in the Red Sea.Credit…Sayed Hassan/Getty Images
Published January 13, 2024

The United States-led airstrikes on Thursday and Friday against sites in Yemen controlled by the Houthi militia damaged or destroyed about 90 percent of the targets struck, but the group retained about three-quarters of its ability to fire missiles and drones at ships transiting the Red Sea, two U.S. officials said on Saturday.

The damage estimates are the first detailed assessments of the strikes by American and British attack planes and warships against nearly 30 locations in Yemen, and they reveal the serious challenges facing the Biden administration and its allies as they seek to deter the Iran-backed Houthis from retaliating, secure critical shipping routes between Europe and Asia, and contain the spread of regional conflict.

A top U.S. military officer, Lt. Gen. Douglas Sims, the director of the military’s Joint Staff, said on Friday that the strikes had achieved their objective of damaging the Houthis’ ability to launch the kind of complex drone and missile attack they had conducted on Tuesday.




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