In a coordinated effort, the United States (US) and the United Kingdom carried out strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen on Saturday. This response comes as a reaction to the repeated attacks on shipping by Iran-backed Houthi insurgents, causing disruptions in global trade and endangering lives.
Joint Air Raids Target 36 Houthi Locations
The joint air raids targeted 36 Houthi locations across 13 sites in Yemen. The strikes aimed at disrupting and degrading the capabilities the Houthi rebels employ to threaten international and commercial shipping, as well as naval vessels transiting the Red Sea. The statement released by the involved nations emphasized the precision nature of the strikes.
The US launched airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against more than 85 targets linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guard in retaliation for a deadly attack on US troops, reports Reuters
— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2024
Focused Assault on Key Facilities
The assault specifically targeted sites associated with the Houthi rebels, including deeply buried weapons storage facilities, missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, and radars. The goal was to diminish the Houthi capabilities posing a threat to global trade and innocent mariners.
US, UK – Preventative Strikes on Anti-Ship Missiles
Prior to the joint air raids, U.S. forces conducted strikes against six Houthi anti-ship missiles that were reportedly prepared to launch against ships in the Red Sea. The Central Command (CENTCOM) highlighted the proactive measures taken to prevent potential maritime threats.
US, UK – Counteraction Against Houthi Drones
The CENTCOM reported that U.S. forces shot down eight drones near Yemen and destroyed four more before they could be launched. While the four drones hit on the ground belonged to the Houthi rebels, the statement did not specify the country or group associated with those shot down in the air.
Multinational Naval Task Force and Regional Tensions
In response to the Houthi attacks on Red Sea shippin, the United States established a multinational naval task force aimed at safeguarding the transit route responsible for up to 12 percent of global trade. The tensions in the region, fueled by anger over Israel’s campaign in Gaza, have escalated, involving Iran-backed groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.
Retaliatory Strikes Following Jordan Attack
The joint strikes in Yemen occurred a day after unilateral American strikes against Iran-linked targets in Iraq and Syria. These strikes were a response to the killing of three U.S. soldiers in Jordan on January 28, with the drone attack blamed on Iran-backed forces.
US, UK – International Response and Ongoing Threats
The United States and its allies have taken significant steps to counter Houthi aggression, safeguard shipping lanes, and address regional tensions. The situation remains dynamic as ongoing threats persist, with the international community closely monitoring developments in the Middle East.