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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

US and British military conduct joint airstrikes on several Houthi locations in Yemen


WASHINGTON — The U.S. and ‍British militaries conducted a joint operation to bomb eight locations used by the Iranian-backed Houthis in ⁣Yemen⁣ on Monday night, marking the second time the​ two allies have retaliated against the rebels’ missile-launching ⁤capabilities.

The U.S. and U.K. used​ warship- and submarine-launched Tomahawk⁤ missiles and ​fighter jets‌ to take out Houthi ‍missile⁣ storage sites and launchers. The officials, who spoke ⁤on condition of anonymity to discuss a military operation, said Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands contributed to the mission, including with intelligence and‍ surveillance.

In ⁣a joint statement, the six allied nations said the strikes specifically targeted a Houthi underground storage site ‍and locations ‍associated with the Houthis’⁣ missile ⁢and air surveillance capabilities. They ‌added, “Our aim remains to‌ deescalate 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.”

‘Targeted military action’

Britain’s Ministry of Defense‌ confirmed that four Royal Air ⁤Force Typhoon jets struck ‌”multiple targets at⁢ two military sites in the vicinity of Sanaa airfield” with precision-guided bombs. The strikes, said ‌Defense ⁣Secretary Grant Shapps, were “aimed at degrading Houthi capabilities” and would “deal another blow⁤ to⁢ their limited stockpiles⁢ and ability to threaten global trade.”

The joint operation comes about 10 days after U.S. and British warships and fighter jets struck more than 60⁤ targets in 28 locations. That was ‌the first U.S. military response to what has been a persistent⁣ campaign of Houthi drone and missile ‍attacks ⁣on⁣ commercial ships since the start of the‍ Israel-Hamas war in October 2023.

The Houthis’ media office said in an online statement that raids targeted Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. And Jamal Hassan, a resident⁢ from south Sanaa, told the Associated Press that‍ two strikes landed near his home, setting off car alarms in the street. An Associated ​Press journalist in Sanaa also heard aircraft flying above the skies of Sanaa overnight Monday.

Al-Masirah, a Houthi-run satellite news channel, said there were multiple air raids on three areas ‍of‌ Sanaa: al-Dailami Air‌ Base just⁤ north of the capital, Sarif, northeast of the⁢ city center, and al-Hafa,⁤ which⁣ is south of Sanaa.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke with President Joe Biden earlier Monday. Sunak’s office said the two leaders agreed to take “as needed, targeted military action to degrade Houthi capabilities.”

The latest barrage of allied attacks marks the eighth time the U.S. has conducted strikes on Houthi sites since Jan. 12. And it follows⁣ an almost-daily assault on Houthi missile launchers by U.S.⁣ fighter jets and ship-based Tomahawks over ‌the past week. The rapid response missions, which officials said⁢ go after launchers that ‍are armed and ready to‌ fire, demonstrate the ​military’s increasing ability⁤ to ​watch, detect and strike militant activities in Yemen.

The chaotic wave of attacks and reprisals involving the United States, its ‍allies and foes suggests that the retaliatory strikes haven’t deterred the Houthis from their campaign against Red Sea shipping, and that the broader regional war that the U.S. has spent months trying to avoid is becoming closer to reality.

For months, the Houthis have attacked ships in the region’s waterways that they say are either linked to Israel or heading⁣ to Israeli ports.⁢ They say their attacks aim to end the Israeli air-and-ground offensive in the Gaza Strip that was triggered by the Palestinian militant group ⁢Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel. But any such links to the ships targeted in the rebel assaults have grown more tenuous as​ the attacks continue.

‘This blatant aggression’

The U.S. and allies⁢ warned‌ of retaliation for weeks, and the White House and a host of partner nations issued a final warning⁢ on Jan. 3 to the Houthis to cease the⁢ attacks or face ​potential military action.

That threat, however, had little noticeable effect. The⁤ Houthis ⁤continued to attack ships‍ in the region, ​including at times appearing to target⁢ U.S. ⁤Navy and U.S.-owned ships, in addition to the ⁢wide range⁣ of commercial vessels.

Of the eight strike missions on Yemen this month, all but the two with Britain⁤ were conducted by the U.S. military alone. Five of the latest strikes were labeled ‍self-defense⁢ to take out missiles ready to fire. The most recent, on Saturday,​ struck and ⁣destroyed a Houthi anti-ship⁤ missile ​that was aimed into the Gulf of Aden and was prepared ⁣to launch, according to‌ Central Command.

The Biden administration has⁢ also put the Houthis back on its list of specially designated ‍global terrorists. The sanctions that come with the formal designation are⁤ meant to sever violent extremist groups from their sources of financing, while also allowing vital humanitarian aid to continue flowing to impoverished Yemenis.

U.S. defense officials have ⁢said they believe the strikes have degraded the ⁢Houthis’ weapons and strike capabilities.‍ But Biden and others have acknowledged ​that the rebels are well-equipped by Iran and‍ are likely to continue ⁢the attacks.

The Houthis, meanwhile, have made it clear that they have no⁤ intention of ⁤scaling back⁤ their assault. In the wake⁣ of the first U.S. ⁢and British joint attack, Hussein ⁤al-Ezzi, a Houthi official in‌ their Foreign Ministry,​ said, “America and Britain will undoubtedly have to prepare to pay a heavy price and bear all the dire consequences of this blatant aggression.”

The continued harassment⁢ of the ships has driven the U.S. and international partners to take extraordinary steps to defend them through ​a joint mission named ⁢Operation Prosperity‌ Guardian, in which they‌ provide a protective umbrella for vessels traveling the critical waterway that‌ runs from the Suez Canal down to the Bab⁣ el-Mandeb Strait.

About 400 commercial vessels transit the southern Red Sea at any given time. And ⁢the ⁢ongoing violence has prompted companies⁢ to reroute their⁢ ships,‌ sending them around Africa through the Cape of Good Hope instead — a much longer ⁤and less efficient passage.

Truth Media Network
Truth Media Network
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  1. Agree. This cooperative military action between the US and British forces shows their commitment to neutralizing the threat posed by the Houthi group in Yemen.


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