US and UK launch strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen

 12. 01. 2024      Category: Defense & Security

In a decisive move, military forces of the United States and the United Kingdom have initiated strikes against several targets in Yemen, specifically targeting Houthi rebel strongholds. This action, announced by President Joe Biden, comes as a direct response to the Houthi rebels' unprecedented attacks on international maritime vessels in the Red Sea, marking the first use of anti-ship ballistic missiles in history.

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Picture: US Air Force aircraft prepare to take off for conduct Air Strike | Shutterstock

President Biden emphasized the significance of these strikes, stating, "These targeted strikes are a clear message that the United States and our partners will not tolerate attacks on our personnel or allow hostile actors to imperil freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most critical commercial routes." The strikes were conducted with the support of allies including Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin revealed that the strikes targeted the Houthis' diverse military capabilities, including unmanned aerial vehicles, uncrewed surface vessels, land-attack cruise missiles, and coastal radar and air surveillance systems. A senior military official confirmed the use of precision munitions by a variety of manned aircraft from the US Air Force and Navy, as well as British fighter jets, to minimize collateral damage.

Made in Gaza
We wrote:Made in Gaza

These decisive actions follow a pattern of Houthi aggression that has significantly impacted international commerce. President Biden cited over 27 attacks affecting more than 50 nations, with crews from over 20 countries facing threats or hostage situations. This escalation led to a united front of 13 allies and partners issuing a warning against the Houthis, followed by a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding an end to these attacks.

This robust response, however, is not just about immediate retaliation. A senior administration official clarified that the aim is to significantly degrade the Houthis' capability to launch further attacks, indicating a strategic move to ensure long-term maritime security in the region. The strikes also address the underlying fears of a potential regional war stemming from the conflict in Gaza, marking a shift in the US's approach to handling Houthi targets in Yemen.

While the intent is not to escalate the conflict, the senior administration official cautioned that this may not be the end of the US's actions. If necessary, further measures will be taken to protect people and the free flow of international commerce. This operation signifies a significant shift in US policy, demonstrating a firm stance against aggression in critical global trade routes and a commitment to maintaining international peace and security.

 Author: Michal Fencl