US Military Strikes Houthi-controlled Site, Escalating Tensions

The US military has launched a follow-on action against a Houthi-controlled site in Yemen, which it believes is putting commercial vessels in the Red Sea at risk. The US Central Command reported that the attack was conducted by the Navy destroyer USS Carney using Tomahawk land attack missiles.

US-led strikes on the Houthis in Yemen have killed at least five people and injured six, following a recent campaign of drone and missile attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea. The US-led bombardment, launched in response to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, targeted 28 locations across Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen.

The Pentagon said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered the military action from his hospital where he is recovering from complications following prostate cancer surgery. The White House has considered redesignating the Houthis as a terrorist organization after they began their targeting of civilian vessels. The US officially delisted the Houthis as a “foreign terrorist organization” and “specially designated global terrorists” in 2021, reversing a Trump move. US strikes on the Houthis were mainly in low-populated areas.

The US has launched a series of strikes against Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen, causing a resurgence of attention on the country’s ongoing conflict. The rebels have been targeting ships in the Red Sea since November, claiming to be avenging Israel’s offensive in Gaza against Hamas.

However, they have often targeted vessels with unclear links to Israel, posing a threat to global trade and energy shipments. The US military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree, stated that the strikes would not go unanswered or unpunished.

The US Air Forces Central Command said the strikes targeted the Houthi’s command and control nodes, munition depots, launching systems, production facilities, and air defense radar systems. The strikes involved over 150 precision-guided munitions, including air-launched missiles by F/A-18 Super Hornets and Tomahawk missiles from Navy destroyers USS Gravely and USS Mason, the Navy cruiser USS Philippine Sea, and a US submarine.

The UK reported strikes on a site in Bani allegedly used by the Houthis to launch drones and an airfield in Abbs used to launch cruise missiles and drones. Iran also released footage of its seizure of an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, which had been at the center of a dispute between Tehran and Washington.

The Red Sea route is a vital waterway, and attacks there have disrupted global trade. Brent crude oil has risen by 4%, and Tesla has temporarily halted production at its German factory due to the attacks. In Saada, the Houthis’ stronghold in northwest Yemen, hundreds gathered for a rally, denouncing the US and Israel.

Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, with the majority of its people considered food-insecure. Yemen has been targeted by US military action over the last four American presidencies, with drone strikes targeting al-Qaeda’s local affiliate.

Iran condemned Friday’s attack, stating that arbitrary attacks would fuel insecurity and instability in the region. Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused US, UK, and allies of armed aggression against Yemen, warning of catastrophe if escalation continues. US and UK ambassadors defended self-defense and called for de-escalation from Houthis.

defenseEscalating TensionsHouthiRed SeaUnited StatesUS Central CommandUS militaryUS Military SUS Military Strikes Houthi-controlled Site