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In Response to Red Sea Attacks: US-UK Military Strikes on Houthi Rebels in Yemen

The Pentagon added that the strikes were on military, not civilian targets using "precision weapons".

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Since the ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza, Houthi rebels have been targeting and attacking commercial ships on the trading route of the Red Sea. For the first time, in an overnight attack on Thursday, 11 January, the US and British launched military attacks on areas by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.

US officials in the Pentagon described its targets as radar systems, drone storage and launch sites, missile storage and launch facilities and Houthi command and control nodes.

President Joe Biden said he ordered the strikes “in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea.”

“Today, at my direction, U.S. 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 president said in a statement released by the White House.

Biden added that he will “not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary.”

The Pentagon added that the strikes were on military, not civilian targets using "precision weapons".

After weeks of issuing warnings to the Houthi rebels to cease the attacks on the Red Sea. The US-UK took this step.

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The UK Response

On the military strikes, the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it was “necessary and proportionate”. Sunak’s office further added that there were no further strikes against Houthi targets planned, and the situation will be kept under review.

The prime minister is said to make an official statement in the parliament on Monday, 15 January. While on an official visit to Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunak said, “Over the last month, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea that’s putting innocent lives at risk. It’s disrupting the global economy, and it’s also destabilising the region. And in that time, we’ve also seen the single biggest attack on a British navy warship that we’ve seen in decades.”

Which Areas Were Under Attack?

It has been reported that airstrikes were targeted in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, as well as the Houthi Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Dhamar and Saada.

According to the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD), the British strikes were in Bani in the north-west - which the MoD said was a drone operational site - and Abbs airfield, which intelligence said was a launching site for missiles and drones.

There were 72 strikes, according to the Houthis' military spokesman.

The Houthi spokesman claims that five of its members had been killed and six others injured in the strikes.

The Houthis’ Reaction

"Our country was subjected to a massive aggressive attack by American and British ships, submarines and warplanes," Houthi Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Al-Ezzi said, according to official media.

"America and Britain will have to prepare to pay a heavy price and bear all the dire consequences of this blatant aggression," Al-Ezzi added.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Yemen   Hamas   Yemen clashes 

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