US carries out new strikes against Houthis in Yemen

World Wednesday 17/January/2024 08:23 AM
US carries out new strikes against Houthis in Yemen

Washington, DC: The United States carried out new strikes against Houthi ballistic missiles in Yemen on Tuesday, according to the US Central Command.

The US carried out strikes after Houthi launched an anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen into international shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea.

The strikes on Tuesday, the third against Houthi since a US-led air and naval barrage hit dozens of targets last week and destroyed four missiles that the US Central Command said posed an imminent threat to merchant vessels and Navy ships travelling through the Red Sea and nearby waters, The New York Times reported.

In a post shared on X, US Central Command stated, "US Conducts Strikes in Yemen as Houthi Attacks Against International Shipping Continue On Jan. 16 at approximately 1:45 p.m. (Sanaa time), Houthi militants launched an anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen into international shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea. M/V Zografia, a Maltese flagged bulk carrier reported they were struck but seaworthy and were continuing their Red Sea transit."

"No injuries were reported. Earlier in the day at approximately, 4:15 a.m. (Sanaa time), US Forces struck and destroyed four Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles prepared to launch from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen," it added.

Meanwhile, John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House, said on Tuesday (local time) that the US will continue to defend against Houthi and counter them as appropriate if the group continues to keep carrying out attacks. He made the remarks while addressing a press briefing on Tuesday (local time).

Asked about the damages caused by the two US strikes against Houthi, Kirby said, "I'd refer you to the Pentagon to speak to the battle damage assessment, Selina. They're really the right ones to go to for that. And I don't know the final status of that."

"As I said earlier, even before we conducted these strikes, we had every expectation that the Houthis would still maintain some capability and would probably retaliate in some form or fashion. The strikes were designed to degrade and disrupt their military activity: their ability to store, launch, and to guide these missiles to their targets, as well as the drones that they have launched against these targets."
He stated that the Pentagon will provide the specifics of the battle damage assessment. He stressed that Houthis have a choice to make about what they want to do with their capability.

"We believe that we had good effects. But the specifics of the BDA -- battle damage assessment is really something for the Pentagon to speak to. But at no time, even that night, did we say that all of the Houthis' offensive capability was going to be eliminated by those strikes," John Kirby said.

"Again, the Houthis have a choice to make. We know they still have some capability. They have a choice to make about what they do with that capability. If they choose to keep conducting these attacks, we will continue to defend against them and counter them as appropriate, even as we did today, hitting four ballistic missiles on launchers before they could be sent on their way," he added.

On Friday, the United States carried out fresh strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, according to a US official, as reported by CNN. These strikes followed a coordinated attack on approximately 30 Houthi locations the day before.

The subsequent attacks that took place on Friday night (local time), according to the official, targeted a radar site used by the Houthis and were notably more limited in nature.

According to Lt Gen Douglas Sims II, Director of the Joint Staff, the Houthis had fired at least one anti-ship ballistic missile towards a commercial vessel earlier on Friday, CNN reported.

To prevent the Houthis from firing into international trade lanes in the Red Sea, the US and UK attacked 28 different Houthi locations on Thursday, as per CNN.

Australia, Bahrain, the Netherlands, Canada, and Australia also supported the two countries. The official stated that the United States launched its most recent strike on its own initiative.

Meanwhile, the US has vowed to take further military action, if the Houthis continue to attack the commercial vessels in the Red Sea with drones and missiles.

"We will make sure we respond to the Houthis if they continue this outrageous behaviour along with our allies," US President Joe Biden said Friday while in Pennsylvania, as the attacks by Houthis have been escalating recently, reported CNN.

"Today, at my direction, US military forces--together with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands--successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world's most vital waterways," the US President said in a statement on Thursday.

In his statement, Biden said that Houthis "launched their largest attack to date--directly targeting American ships" on January 9.

"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. These attacks have endangered US personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardised trade, and threatened freedom of navigation," Biden said.