The Pentagon announced a significant wave of airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen following renewed attacks on ships in and around the Red Sea. The American-led effort follows weeks of bombing the rebel group in hopes of deterring attacks.
According to the U.S. Central Command, the United States and the United Kingdom struck 36 Houthi targets. The Pentagon said that these attacks occurred in 13 locations.
According to the Central Command, the “multilateral coalition strikes focused on targets in Houthi-controlled Yemen used to attack international merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region.”
U.S. Forces, Allies Conduct Joint Strikes in Yemen
As part of ongoing international efforts to respond to increased Iranian-backed Houthi destabilizing and illegal activities in the region, on Feb. 3 at approximately 11:30 p.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Central Command forces,… pic.twitter.com/hlfLY1QjOd
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) February 3, 2024
The same report indicated that the targets struck included “underground storage facilities, command and control, missile systems, UAV storage and operations sites, radars and helicopters.”
‘These strikes are intended to degrade Houthi capabilities used to continue their reckless and unlawful attacks on U.S. and U.K. ships as well as international commercial shipping in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden,” said a statement from U.S. Central Command.
The Houthis are fighting the internationally-recognized government of Yemen. The Yemeni Civil War has been ongoing for more than a decade, with the Houthis controlling many of the more densely populated regions in the country’s west.
The rebel group has been launching a number of attacks on vessels coming to and from the Suez Canal since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October. The Houthis have also launched drone and missile attacks targeting Israel, but so far none of the projectiles appear to have struck any targets.
Despite this, the Houthis have launched dozens of attacks on both military and civilian vessels in the region. This includes multiple missile and drone attacks on U.S. warships. Both American and British Royal Navy vessels have had to shoot down objects coming from Yemen.
The rebels also hijacked an Israeli-linked civilian trading ship, taking its crew of 25 hostage.
The Houthis and Hamas are both aided by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The United States launched another series of airstrikes Friday against militias tied to the regime and its Revolutionary Guard Corps, which Washington considers a terrorist organization.