US Military Conducts Airstrike Again on Houthi-Controlled Site in Red Sea Region Despite Earlier Warning to Ships

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US Military Conducts Airstrike Again on Houthi-Controlled Site in Red Sea Region Despite Earlier Warning to Ships

Source The Telegraph

U.S. Military Strikes Houthi-Controlled Site in Yemen, Escalating Tensions in the Region

In a significant escalation of hostilities, the U.S. military conducted another strike on a Houthi-controlled site in Yemen on January 13, following a series of airstrikes jointly launched by the U.S. and Britain against Houthi rebels the previous day. The operation aimed to neutralize a Houthi radar site deemed responsible for endangering commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

The follow-on action, executed early on January 13 by the Navy destroyer USS Carney using Tomahawk land attack missiles, underscored the U.S. commitment to addressing threats to maritime security in the region. The initial strikes on January 12 targeted 28 locations, striking over 60 targets. President Joe Biden had issued a warning on the same day, indicating the possibility of further strikes if Houthi activities persisted.

Source – 9News


In response to the heightened tensions, the U.S. Navy issued a warning to American-flagged vessels to avoid areas around Yemen in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden for the next 72 hours, anticipating potential retaliation from the Houthis. The situation has raised concerns about a broader conflict, particularly given the already volatile backdrop of Israel’s war in Gaza.

President Biden affirmed the U.S. commitment to responding to Houthi provocations, stating, “We will make sure that we respond to the Houthis if they continue this outrageous behavior along with our allies.” When questioned about whether he considers the Houthis a terrorist group, Biden asserted, “I think they are,” emphasizing the seriousness of the perceived threat. He further dismissed criticism from lawmakers who argued that congressional authorization should have been sought before the strikes.

The military action, ordered by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, recovering from prostate cancer surgery, highlights the urgency and severity of the situation. The White House, considering redesignating the Houthis as a terrorist organization since November, had formally delisted them in 2021, reversing a decision by former President Donald Trump.

Lt. Gen. Douglas Sims, director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, clarified that the strikes primarily targeted low-populated areas, with an emphasis on weapons, radar, and targeting sites, including remote mountain locations. The focus on Houthi-controlled areas reignited global attention on Yemen’s protracted conflict, which began when the Houthis seized the country’s capital.

The Houthi rebels, claiming responsibility for a recent series of drone and missile attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, have repeatedly targeted vessels, citing retaliation for Israel’s actions in Gaza. The U.S. strikes, conducted in two waves, aimed to quell these threats and prevent further disruptions to a vital waterway for global trade and energy shipments.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree, the Houthi military spokesman, warned in a recorded address that the U.S. strikes would “not go unanswered or unpunished.” Despite efforts by the Biden administration to ease tensions in the region, the strikes have heightened the risk of a wider conflict.

Saudi Arabia, supporting the government-in-exile that the Houthis are fighting, swiftly distanced itself from the attacks to maintain delicate relations with Iran and an existing cease-fire in Yemen. The Saudi-led, U.S.-backed war in Yemen has resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe, with over 150,000 casualties and severe consequences for civilians.

While the extent of the damage from the recent strikes remains unclear, the U.S. military is actively assessing the potential degradation of Houthi capabilities. The strikes, involving over 150 precision-guided munitions, showcased a coordinated effort, with the United Kingdom also participating in targeting Houthi sites.

In a separate development, Iran released footage of its seizure of an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, escalating tensions in the region. The tanker, previously at the center of a dispute between Tehran and Washington, further complicates the geopolitical landscape.

As the situation unfolds, international stakeholders, including the United Nations Security Council, have expressed concerns about the potential consequences of the escalating conflict. The U.S. and its allies maintain that the strikes are a defensive response to Houthi actions, emphasizing the need for de-escalation from the Houthi side to protect critical shipping routes. The uncertainty in the region has already impacted global trade, with implications for energy markets and economic stability.

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