The United States strikes the Houthis in Yemen one more time

United States strikes the Houthis in Yemen one more time
United States strikes the Houthis in Yemen one more time | Image Credit:

According to American officials who spoke with The Associated Press, the United States struck another Houthi-controlled site in Yemen on Friday.

The incident occurred one day after extensive airstrikes on the rebel group supported by Iran, which were carried out by the U.S. and British forces, hitting over 60 targets and 28 sites.

What You Must Understand

  • According to U.S. authorities, the United States struck another Houthi-controlled site in Yemen on Friday.
  • The incident occurred one day after extensive airstrikes by the US and UK forces against the rebel group supported by Iran, which targeted more than 60 targets and 28 places.
  • Biden forewarned the Houthis early on Friday that further strikes may be forthcoming.
  • The war between Israel and Hamas is already raging in the region, and the Houthis threatened to retaliate fiercely for the U.S.-led strikes. U.S. military and White House officials stated they anticipated the Houthis would attempt to launch a counterattack.

According to one source, the U.S. concluded that the second location—a radar site—still posed a risk to marine traffic.

Biden forewarned the Houthis early on Friday that further strikes may be forthcoming. Speaking at a Pennsylvanian event, the president said, “We will make sure that we will respond to the Houthis if they continue with this outrageous behaviour, along with our allies.”

Following several airstrikes by the United States and Britain against the Houthi rebels on Friday, the U.S. Navy issued a warning to American-flagged warships to avoid the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden around Yemen for the next 72 hours. This was the latest hit.

The threat was issued as the Houthis in Yemen threatened to launch a violent counteroffensive against the U.S.-led attacks, increasing the likelihood of a broader battle in an area already plagued by the Israeli-Hamas conflict.

Officials from the White House and the US military stated that they anticipated a counterattack from the Houthis.

In his previous remarks on Friday, Biden declared that “no,” the United States is not engaged in a proxy conflict with Iran, and he cited the attacks’ apparent success in terms of the number of civilian fatalities.

“I’ve already delivered the message to Iran, they know not to do anything,” he stated, adding: “Iran does not want a war with us.”

In 16 locations around Yemen, the U.S. Air Force’s Mideast command reported hitting more than 60 targets, including “command-and-control nodes, munitions depots, launching systems, production facilities, and air defence radar systems.”

Related Previous News: Biden’s authorization for airstrikes in Yemen without legislative permission infuriates Democrats, who call it a “unacceptable violation of the Constitution.”

The purpose of the strikes, according to Biden on Thursday night, was to show that the United States and its allies “will not tolerate” the terrorist group’s ongoing attacks on the Red Sea. He said that only after trying to reach a diplomatic agreement and giving it considerable thought did they decide to act.

“These strikes are in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea — including the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles for the first time in history,” Biden stated in a statement. He stated that trade was at risk and that the assaults put American military and civilian seafarers in danger. He also said, “I will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary.”

In a taped speech, Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree, the military spokesperson for the Houthis, declared that the strikes would “not go unanswered or unpunished.”

Since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas conflict, there has been a continuous campaign of drone and missile assaults on commercial ships. These strikes were the first military reaction by the United States to this campaign. The concerted military operation also occurs barely one week after the Houthis were given a last warning to stop their attacks or risk possible military action by the White House and its allies. Under the condition of anonymity, the officials discussed military activities when describing the strikes. Congressmen were informed on the strike preparations earlier on Thursday.

Attacks ceased for many days, suggesting that the warning had at least some temporary effect. However, on Tuesday, the Houthi rebels launched the most drones and missiles they had ever fired at American and British ships as well as American fighter planes, targeting shipping in the Red Sea. In response, the American fighter jets shot down two cruise missiles, an anti-ship missile, and eighteen drones. Additionally, a commercial ship saw the Houthis launch an anti-ship ballistic missile into the Gulf of Aden on Thursday, but the ship was not struck.

Senior administration and military sources told reporters in a teleconference that following Tuesday’s assaults, Biden called a meeting of his national security team and was given military options for a response. Then he gave the order to execute the retaliatory attacks to Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, who is still in the hospital due to complications after surgery for prostate cancer.

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated in a separate statement that the Royal Air Force struck military installations utilised by the Houthis. Four fighter planes stationed in Cyprus participated in the attacks, according to the Defence Ministry.

He continued, saying, “This cannot stand,” pointing out that the extremists have launched a number of hazardous strikes against vessels. He stated that Britain conducted “limited, necessary and proportionate action in self-defense, alongside the United States with non-operational support from the Netherlands, Canada and Bahrain against targets tied to these attacks, to degrade Houthi military capabilities and protect global shipping.”

Along with the United States and United Kingdom, the governments of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and South Korea released a statement stating that although the goal is to reduce tensions and bring stability back to the Red Sea, the allies will not back down from defending lives and safeguarding trade in the vital waterway.

On the other hand, Russia asked for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the strikes. The current president of the council, France, said that it will happen on Friday afternoon.

Since Nov. 19, the rebels have launched 27 strikes using several drones and missiles, and they have threatened to retaliate violently if American forces target any of their locations in Yemen.

Ali al-Qahoum, a senior Houthi official, promised retaliatory action. “The battle will be bigger … and beyond the imagination and expectation of the Americans and the British,” he said in a post on X.

The Al-Dailami Air Base north of Sanaa, the airport in the port city of Hodeida, a camp east of Saada, the airport in the city of Taiz, and an airport close to Hajjah were all mentioned as being struck by attacks on the Houthi-run satellite news station Al-Masirah.

Following the attacks on Friday, the Houthis claimed that six of their soldiers had been wounded and five had died.

Although the U.S. anticipates that the attacks would weaken the Houthis’ capabilities, a senior administration official stated that “we would not be surprised to see some sort of response,” even if they haven’t yet seen anything. According to officials, the US launched Tomahawk missiles from Navy destroyers and a submarine, and used fighter jets from the Air Force and warplanes stationed on the Navy aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

According to the Houthis, the goal of their attacks is to halt Israel’s conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. However, their targets are becoming less and less connected to Israel, endangering a vital economic route that connects Europe with Asia and the Middle East.

Concurrently, a resolution was voted by the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, urging the Houthis to immediately stop their attacks and subtly denouncing their arms supplier, Iran. By a vote of 11-0, with four votes against—from Algeria, Mozambique, China, and Russia—it was adopted.

The Biden administration’s attempt to fight the Houthis through a wide international coalition rather than appear to be fighting it alone was highlighted by Britain’s involvement in the strikes. A marine effort spearheaded by the United States to enhance ship protection in the Red Sea is already involving over 20 countries.

For weeks, American authorities had refrained from indicating when the world would weary of their tolerance and they would retaliate against the Houthis, despite the fact that many commercial ships had been hit by missiles and drone strikes, forcing several corporations to consider rerouting their ships.

However, American authorities issued another warning of consequences on Wednesday.

During a tour in Bahrain, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters, “I’m not going to telegraph or preview anything that might happen.” According to him, the United States has made it plain that “there will be consequences if this continues as it did yesterday.” And with that, I will conclude.”

The Biden administration’s hesitation to strike back during the previous few months was a reflection of political sensitivities and was primarily caused by concerns about upending the precarious peace in Yemen and starting a wider fight in the area. In order to avoid creating a new front in the conflict, the White House has been cautious about acting in Yemen. It wants to maintain the ceasefire.

The coalition warning, however, was signed by the United States, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom due to the effects on international shipping and the intensifying assaults.

Travelling across the Red Sea is essential for international trade, since it connects the Suez Canal to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The river that divides Africa and the Arabian Peninsula usually carries around 12% of global trade, which includes grain, toys, electronics, natural gas, and oil.

Following the assaults, the United States launched Operation Prosperity Guardian, a new maritime security effort that involves around 22 nations and aims to bolster security in the Red Sea, Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden. In order to safeguard ships and ward off threats, American and foreign warships have been often passing through the small strait back and forth. Airborne monitoring has also been increased by the alliance.

The decision to launch the extended patrol operation was made on December 3 following the Houthi-fired missile attack on three commercial boats in Yemen.

Following the Hamas assaults in Israel on October 7, the Pentagon stepped up its military presence in the area in an effort to prevent Iran from escalating the battle into a regional fight including the Houthis and militias supported by Iran in both Iraq and Syria.