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U.S. and U.K. launch airstrikes targeting Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  3 weeks ago  •  7 comments

By:   Courtney Kube, Mosheh Gains and Rebecca Cohen

U.S. and U.K. launch airstrikes targeting Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen
ABOARD USS EISENHOWER IN THE RED SEA — The United States and the United Kingdom launched airstrikes Saturday targeting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen in response to the group's continued attacks in the Red Sea, the countries confirmed in a joint statement.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


ABOARD USS EISENHOWER IN THE RED SEA — The United States and the United Kingdom launched airstrikes Saturday targeting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen in response to the group's continued attacks in the Red Sea, the countries confirmed in a joint statement.

The U.S. and U.K. struck 36 Houthi targets in 13 locations in Yemen using missiles launched from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, they said in the statement.

More than two dozen aircraft were also launched from the ship, a U.S. official said, some carrying 2,000-pound bombs, sidewinder air-to-air missiles and other precision-guided missiles.

It is not immediately clear if anyone was killed or wounded in the strikes.

The strikes Saturday "targeted sites associated with the Houthis' deeply buried weapons storage facilities, missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, and radars," the joint statement said.

The statement added that the "precision strikes" were meant to "disrupt and degrade the capabilities" the Houthis have used to attack ships in the Red Sea, threatening global trade and innocent sailors operating the ships.

The strikes "are in response to a series of illegal, dangerous, and destabilizing Houthi actions since previous coalition strikes on January 11 and 22, 2024, including the January 27 attack which struck and set ablaze the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker M/V Marlin Luanda," the statement said.

The U.K. Ministry of Defense identified the locations and targets of three strikes in a statement released Saturday.

The first was at As Salif, due west of Sanaa on the Red Sea coast, the mnistry said. It targeted a ground control station inside a defensive position that was said to be used to control Houthi drones that are launched further inland and carry out attacks over the sea against international shipping vessels.

Another drone ground control station was the site of the second target at Al Munirah, near the first, according to the ministry.

A "significant number of targets" were also attacked at Bani, the ministry statement said. Buildings at this location had been confirmed as involved in Houthi drone and missile operations. The ministry added that "an initial group of facilities" at this site were struck by the Royal Air Force on Jan. 11.

Since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack in Israel, and Israel's continued retaliatory assault on the Gaza Strip, Houthi forces operating in Yemen have repeatedly attacked commercial ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden using drones and missiles.

"This collective action sends a clear message to the Houthis that they will continue to bear further consequences if they do not end their illegal attacks on international shipping and naval vessels," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Saturday. "We will not hesitate to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world's most critical waterways."

U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said in statement that Saturday's strike were "not an escalation."

"We have already successfully targeted launchers and storage sites involved in Houthi attacks, and I am confident that our latest strikes have further degraded the Houthis' capabilities," he said.

Mohammed Al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthis' Ansarallah political bureau, said the group's attacks "will continue until the aggression against Gaza stops."

"We will meet escalation with escalation, and victory comes only from God," he said.

The Saturday strikes were unrelated to those Friday, a senior administration official said. The Friday strikes targeted 85 sites in Iraq and Syria used by Iranian forces and the Iran-backed militants, which was the United States' first retaliatory response to the killing of three American soldiers in Jordan last weekend, U.S. officials said.

"Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing," President Joe Biden said in a statement Friday. "The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. But let all those who might seek to do us harm know this: If you harm an American, we will respond."

Biden's administration has clearly said that the U.S. would respond militarily after the drone attack by Iran-backed militants at a remote U.S. base in Jordan killed three and wounded more than 40 others.

Iran has denied involvement in that drone attack, adding that it does not seek a war with the U.S., but vowed it will respond to any threats from the U.S.

Prior to any of the strikes carried out by the U.S., Austin said there would be a "multitier response." Biden settled on a plan that would take days, possibly weeks, to carry out, officials told NBC News.

It's an uptick in pressure from Washington in the Middle East in an effort to curb attacks from these Iran-backed militants and to prevent the spread of an all-out war across the region.

Even after the first day of strikes on Friday, Biden and Austin maintained that the U.S. has no interest in beginning a war with Iran or widening the already growing Middle Eastern conflict.

"We will continue to work to avoid a wider conflict in the region, but we will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our interests and our people," Austin told reporters at a Pentagon news conference Thursday.

He made similar remarks on Friday, adding that "the president and I will not tolerate attacks on American forces."

In the joint statement released Saturday, the U.S. and U.K. address the "now more than 30 attacks on commercial vessels and naval vessels since mid-November" by the Houthis, adding that the attacks "constitute an international challenge."

"We remain committed to protecting freedom of navigation and international commerce and holding the Houthis accountable for their illegal and unjustifiable attacks on commercial shipping and naval vessels," the statement said. "Our aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea but let us reiterate our warning to Houthi leadership: we will not hesitate to continue to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world's most critical waterways in the face of continued threats."


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  Vic Eldred    3 weeks ago

All of this "avoidance of a wider conflict" seems to have led to exactly that.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
1.1  Ronin2  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    3 weeks ago

Brandon heading towards the ME war we are sorely unprepared to fight right now,

The only question is when Iran will decide to start direct reprisals against US troops stationed in Iraq and Syria.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Ronin2 @1.1    3 weeks ago
Brandon heading towards the ME war we are sorely unprepared to fight right now,

What makes you think that and BTW the US was sorely unprepared to fight WWII, Korea as well and not much better when Vietnam started.

The only question is when Iran will decide to start direct reprisals against US troops stationed in Iraq and Syria.

IF you are talking about the attacks coming from Iran itself and no proxies probably never, since Iran isn't stupid and in a direct confrontation with the US they would lose badly.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
1.1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  Ronin2 @1.1    3 weeks ago
The only question is when Iran will decide to start direct reprisals against US troops stationed in Iraq and Syria.

The bigger question is why we have US troop in Iraq and Syria to begin with? Are they Special Ops and support staff?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.3  Kavika   replied to  Greg Jones @1.1.2    3 weeks ago
The bigger question is why we have US troop in Iraq and Syria to begin with? Are they Special Ops and support staff?

Troops in Syria are Special Ops and Army Rangers. 

There is a small contingent of Special OPs in Iraq plus around 2500 other troops.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.2  Kavika   replied to  Vic Eldred @1    3 weeks ago
All of this "avoidance of a wider conflict" seems to have led to exactly that.

And that is a good thing along with degrading the proxies weapons to fight with.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
2  Drinker of the Wry    3 weeks ago

Some countries are almost always with us in a Mission Partner Environment:

RELEASE
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Joint Statement from Australia, Bahrain, Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States on Additional Strikes Against the Houthis in Yemen
Feb. 3, 2024 

 
 

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