US and UK Militaries Launch Strikes Against Houthi Targets in Yemen
Responding to Houthi Attacks on Red Sea Shipping
The US and UK militaries have conducted strikes against multiple Houthi targets in Yemen. These strikes are a significant response to the repeated missile and drone attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea. The Biden administration and its allies had previously warned the Iran-backed militant group about the consequences of their actions.
Multinational Effort to Ensure Freedom of Navigation
The strikes were carried out by US military forces in collaboration with the United Kingdom, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands. The goal was to eradicate Houthi rebels’ assets that pose a threat to freedom of navigation in the Red Sea. US President Joe Biden stated that further measures will be taken if necessary to protect people’s safety and international commerce.
Destruction of Houthi Assets
US and coalition forces successfully struck over 60 targets at 16 Iranian-backed Houthi militant locations. These targets included command and control nodes, munitions, depots, launching systems, production facilities, and air defense radar systems. The strikes resulted in the death of five individuals and the injury of six others. However, the rebels’ military spokesperson, Yahya Sare’e, claimed that the airstrikes would not deter further attacks on shipping.
Signs of International Alarm
The strikes reflect the growing international concern over the threat to the Red Sea, one of the world’s most critical waterways. Initially, the US had been cautious about launching direct strikes on Yemen due to the risk of escalation in an already tense region. However, the ongoing Houthi attacks on international shipping forced the coalition to take action.
Targeting Houthi Capabilities
The strikes, carried out by fighter jets and Tomahawk missiles, targeted Houthi assets that contributed to their continued attacks on vessels in the Red Sea. The USS Florida, a guided missile submarine, was also involved in the operation. British Typhoon jets, accompanied by Voyager air-to-air refueling tankers, joined the mission to successfully hit at least 14 targets.
International Cooperation and Intelligence Sharing
French naval forces, operating independently but cooperating with the US, have been patrolling the waters where the Houthis operate. This joint effort aims to share intelligence and enhance coordination. The strikes were conducted by precision-guided munitions to minimize collateral damage and avoid targeting civilian population centers.
The Decision to Strike
The Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping on Tuesday pushed President Biden to authorize the strikes. While preparations had been ongoing for some time, the attacks served as the final trigger. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who remains hospitalized, ordered and monitored the strikes in real-time with secure communications.
Consequences for Houthi Actions
The repeated Houthi attacks on international shipping lanes in the southern Red Sea were considered unacceptable by the White House. These attacks have compelled major shipping companies to alter their routes, adding thousands of miles by circumnavigating Africa. The US has made it clear that Iran has a role to play in urging the Houthis to cease their dangerous and illegal activities.
Houthi Response and Potential Future Actions
The Houthi rebels have vowed to continue their aggression against commercial ships in the Red Sea. They see the airstrikes as a massive aggressive assault and promise an even stronger response. However, as of now, there have been no signs of retaliatory action by the Houthis.
Explosions in Hodeidah and Future Developments
Explosions were reported in Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah, with the airport being hit in the initial round of strikes. The situation is still developing, and the US Department of Defense has been contacted for more information regarding the explosions and any new strikes in Yemen.
Regional Trip and Warnings
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during his visit to the region, warned that there would be consequences if the Houthi attacks did not stop. He traveled to Bahrain to meet with regional leaders and discuss the escalating crisis in the Middle East. Blinken does not believe that the war in Gaza is turning into a regional conflict but acknowledges the presence of danger points.
Read More of this Story at www.cnn.com – 2024-01-12 11:37:00
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