US carries out more attacks against Houthis in Yemen

Sixth US-led series of strikes against the rebels since operations began on January 11

Houthi fighters visit a shrine to their dead in Sanaa, Yemen, on January 17, 2024. EPA
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The US military carried out another round of attacks on Yemen's Houthi rebels on Friday, targeting missile launchers that were prepared for strikes against shipping in the Red Sea, the White House said.

It marks the sixth US-led action against the Houthis in Yemen since operations began on January 11.

“This morning, US forces conducted three successful self-defence strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

Mr Kirby said the strikes were “pre-emptive” and targeted anti-ship missiles.

In what they said is a response to Israel's war in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis have been firing drones and missiles at ships in the Red Sea that they claim are affiliated with Israel. The peril to international shipping has forced several carriers to reroute vessels around the southern tip of Africa.

The strikes come a day after President Joe Biden acknowledged that the US-led action against the Houthis was not having a deterrent effect. He said the military actions would continue.

The Pentagon has claimed it does not seek broader confrontation with the Houthis in Yemen or Tehran.

“We don't seek war. We don't think that we are at war. We don't want to see a regional war,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said on Thursday.

The US this week named the Houthis as a specially designated global terrorist organisation, limiting the rebel group's access to funding.

Here is a look at the strikes against Houthis in Yemen. All have been led by the US, with Britain assisting on the first mission.

January 11: The US and Britain launch the first air strikes on Houthi military positions across Yemen, pledging to protect the freedom of navigation in the Red Sea. The action targeted radar systems, air defence systems, and storage and launch sites for attack drones, cruise missiles, and missiles, US Central Command said.

January 13: US forces conduct a strike against a Houthi radar site in Yemen. This strike was conducted by the USS Carney using Tomahawk land attack missiles

January 16: US forces destroy four Houthi missile launchers in Yemen. The launchers were considered to be an imminent threat to commercial and US forces’ vessels in the area.

January 17: US military forces strike 14 Houthi missiles that had been primed to fire on commercial and US naval shipping in the Red Sea, Central Command said.

January 18: US fighter jets conduct a fifth strike on Houthi targets, this time hitting two anti-ship missiles that were being prepared for launch towards the Red Sea.

January 19: US forces conduct three “self-defence strikes” against Houthi targets.

Yemenis protest in Sanaa after US and UK hit Houthi sites – in pictures

Updated: January 20, 2024, 4:40 AM