US, UK launch precision strikes on Houthi targets amid escalating tensions

The Houthi rebels in Yemen, backed by Iran, had initiated a series of attacks on Israel and targeted commercial and military ships in the Red Sea

| Updated: 04 February, 2024 5:31 pm IST
The US and the UK launched targeted strikes on 36 Houthi-controlled targets in Yemen

NEW DELHI: The US and the UK launched targeted strikes on 36 Houthi-controlled targets in Yemen. This move comes just hours after the US conducted retaliatory airstrikes on 85 sites in Iraq and Syria in response to the killing of three American soldiers in Jordan.

The Houthi rebels in Yemen, backed by Iran, had initiated a series of attacks on Israel and targeted commercial and military ships in the Red Sea. In response to these provocations, the US and UK jointly executed precise strikes to disrupt and degrade the capabilities of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a statement, highlighting the collective action involving Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. The strikes aimed at sending a clear message to the Houthis, warning of consequences if they persist in their illegal attacks on international shipping and naval vessels.

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“Militaries from the US and UK conducted additional strikes against the Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen. This collective action sends a clear message to the Houthis that they will continue to bear further consequences if they do not end their illegal attacks on international shipping and naval vessels. We will not hesitate to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways,” Austin said.

The coalition forces targeted 13 locations associated with the Houthis, focusing on deeply buried weapons storage facilities, missile systems, launchers, air defense systems, and radars. These strikes are a response to the Houthi’s continuous attacks on international and commercial shipping, as well as naval vessels transiting the Red Sea.

The joint statement from the US, the UK, and their coalition partners emphasised the precision of the strikes in disrupting the Houthis’ capabilities that threaten global trade and the lives of innocent mariners. It specifically addressed the Houthi actions since previous coalition strikes in January, including the attack on the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker M/V Marlin Luanda.

The statement highlighted the commitment to upholding the rules-based order and protecting freedom of navigation and international commerce. The coalition remains resolute in holding the Houthis accountable for their illegal and unjustifiable attacks on commercial shipping and naval vessels.

ALSO READ: US launches follow-up strike on Houthi site in Yemen

While expressing the coalition’s aim to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea, the statement issued a stern warning to the Houthi leadership. It emphasised the readiness to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways in the face of continued threats.

“Our aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea but let us reiterate our warning to Houthi leadership: we will not hesitate to continue to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways in the face of continued threats,” said the statement issued by these countries.

The military actions over the weekend have further intensified the already volatile situation in the Middle East. As the Israel-Gaza war persists, and the Iraqi government warns of the region being pushed “to the brink of the abyss,” the international community closely watches the unfolding events with concerns about the broader implications of these actions.

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