U.S., UK strike Houthi targets in Yemen in response to Red Sea attacks
U.S., UK strike Houthi targets in Yemen in response to Red Sea attacks

Houthi army helicopter flies over the Galaxy Leader cargo ship in the Red Sea in this photograph launched on Nov. 20, 2023.

Houthi Military Media | Via Reuters

The United States and the United Kingdom have “efficiently performed strikes” towards Houthi targets in Yemen, President Joe Biden mentioned late Thursday.

“Today, at my course, U.S. army forces — along with the United Kingdom and with help from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands — efficiently performed strikes towards various targets in Yemen utilized by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of many world’s most significant waterways,” Biden mentioned.

The Iran-backed Houthi militia group started their drone and missile attacks on delivery vessels and cargo ships traversing the Red Sea late final yr, drawing world condemnation.

The strikes on Houthi targets had been “in response to continued unlawful, harmful, and destabilizing Houthi attacks towards vessels, together with business delivery, transiting the Red Sea,” in accordance to a joint assertion from the governments of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Together with Greece, Singapore and Sri Lanka, the nations make up a coalition, Operation Prosperity Guardian, that was launched in December to fight Houthi attacks.

But they didn’t all take part in the strike: The United States and Great Britain had been the one two militaries that carried out the newest strikes. A senior administration official declined to touch upon why the remainder of the coalition members didn’t participate.

According to a senior administration official, the Houthis launched about 20 drones and a number of missiles immediately towards U.S. ships in the Red Sea on Jan. 9. It was the largest attack but on service provider vessels in the Red Sea and Pentagon officers instructed CNBC at the moment that 4 coalition warships had been deployed in response.

“This assault was defeated by the US and UK naval forces,” the senior administration official mentioned Thursday. “We have little question that ships would have been struck and maybe even sunk, together with, in one case, a business ship stuffed with jet gas.”

At least three ships have been struck and there’ve been “extraordinarily shut calls,” the official mentioned.

“These reckless attacks have immediately affected the residents and cargo and business pursuits of greater than 50 nations.”

While the newest strikes on the Houthis had been “important” in dimension, the U.S. didn’t count on them to degrade Houthi capabilities solely, mentioned the senior administration official. “We wouldn’t be shocked to see some form of response.”

The Houthis declare their attacks in the Red Sea are in response to the continuing battle in the Gaza Strip. Israel launched a big scale bombing marketing campaign in the Palestinian enclave after the brutal attacks by Hamas militants on Oct. 7.

More than 20,000 people in Gaza have been killed since, in accordance to UN knowledge citing the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry.

Since January, world delivery giants together with Maersk, MSC, Hapag-Lloyd, and CMA CGM have paused their delivery actions in the Red Sea. Oil major BP has also announced it could “quickly pause” all transits by means of the Red Sea.

“These focused strikes are a transparent message that the United States and our companions won’t tolerate attacks on our personnel or permit hostile actors to imperil freedom of navigation in one of many world’s most important business routes,” Biden mentioned.

“I can’t hesitate to direct additional measures to defend our individuals and the free circulation of worldwide commerce as essential.”

— CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.

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