US and UK Launch Airstrikes on Houthi Locations in Yemen amidst Increase in Red Sea Ship Assaults

US, UK bomb Houthi sites in Yemen amid surge in Red Sea ship attacks

Officials have reported that both US and UK forces have executed strikes on 18 Houthi targets, including underground weapon depots and missile storage facilities. This action comes as the rebel group, Houthi, escalated attacks on ships in the Red Sea, purportedly in response to Israel’s ongoing conflict with Gaza.

In a joint statement issued on Saturday, military representatives from the United States and the United Kingdom confirmed the coordinated strikes, which targeted 18 sites across eight locations in Yemen. The assault aimed at disrupting Houthi operations, striking at underground weapons caches, missile storage sites, air defense systems, radar installations, and even a helicopter.

This marks the fourth instance of joint military action by the US and UK against Houthi targets since January 12. In addition to these collaborative efforts, the US has been conducting near-daily raids to neutralize Houthi threats, including incoming missiles, rockets, and drones targeting both commercial and Navy vessels. Despite these efforts, the Houthi attacks persist, impacting global trade and maritime activities.

US and UK Launch Airstrikes on Houthi Locations in Yemen amidst Increase in Red Sea Ship Assaults
US and UK Launch Airstrikes on Houthi Locations in Yemen amidst Increase in Red Sea Ship Assaults (Credits: Reuters)

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that these latest strikes were intended to further degrade the capabilities of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia. He emphasized the consequences the Houthis would face if they continued their illegal attacks, which not only disrupt regional economies but also impede the delivery of vital humanitarian aid to Yemen and neighboring countries.

This military action received support from several nations, including Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. In response, the Houthis declared their intention to confront the American-British escalation with increased military operations against perceived hostile targets in the Red and Arab Seas.

They asserted their commitment to their moral and humanitarian obligations towards the Palestinian people and vowed to continue their military activities until the siege on Gaza is lifted.

According to reports, the Houthis have launched at least 57 attacks on commercial and military ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden since November 19, with the frequency of these assaults intensifying in recent days.

On Saturday, the Houthis claimed responsibility for an attack on the MV Torm Thor, a US-flagged chemical and oil tanker. The US Central Command confirmed the attack, noting that while the vessel was not damaged and no injuries were reported, an antiship ballistic missile was intercepted en route to the tanker.

A British maritime security agency reported an explosion near a vessel near Djibouti port, with no injuries or damage reported. The Houthis have also claimed responsibility for previous attacks on a UK-owned cargo ship and a US destroyer, as well as targeting Israel’s port and resort city of Eilat with ballistic missiles and drones.

Despite these attacks, no ships have been sunk, and no crew members have been harmed. However, concerns remain regarding the environmental impact of such actions, particularly after the strike on the UK-registered Rubymar cargo vessel on February 18, which was carrying a substantial amount of fertilizer.

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza has also incited tensions in other parts of the Middle East, with Lebanon’s Hezbollah engaging in fire exchanges with Israel along the Israel-Lebanon border and pro-Iran Iraqi militias targeting bases hosting US forces.

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