Washington: The United States and Britain have conducted airstrikes in Yemen against Houthi rebels following their attacks on shipping. These strikes are in retaliation to the disruption of global trade and threats to maritime safety by the Iran-backed group.
The operation targeted 36 Houthi sites across Yemen, responding to the rebels’ assaults on commercial and naval vessels in the Red Sea. This action followed US strikes in Iraq and Syria against Iran-linked targets after three US soldiers were killed in Jordan on January 28.
The strikes aimed to degrade the Houthis’ ability to threaten shipping, hitting weapons storage, missile systems, air defense, and radar sites. US Central Command also reported strikes against Houthi anti-ship missiles ready for launch in the Red Sea and the downing of eight drones near Yemen, with four more destroyed before launch.
The Houthis started targeting shipping in November, claiming to support Palestinians in Gaza. The US and UK have hit back, declaring Houthi targets legitimate and setting up a naval task force to protect shipping lanes.
This escalation followed a drone attack in Jordan that killed three US soldiers, attributed to Iran-backed forces. The US responded with strikes in Iraq and Syria but avoided Iranian territory, amid rising regional tensions from the Gaza conflict.