The US and UK, in collaboration with allies, conducted targeted strikes against multiple Houthi positions in Yemen, responding to repeated threats to international maritime vessels in the Red Sea. President Joe Biden, emphasizing the need to protect navigation in vital waterways, stated that these strikes were in direct response to the Houthi attacks.
The coordinated effort involved military forces from the US, UK, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, with over 60 deliberate strikes on 16 Houthi locations. These strikes, utilizing various precision-guided munitions, aimed at command and control nodes, munitions depots, launching systems, production facilities, and air defense radar systems.
The decision to launch the strikes came after weeks of restraint due to concerns about escalating tensions in the region. The Houthi attacks on international shipping, particularly in the southern Red Sea, had already led to the avoidance of the waterway by major shipping companies, causing disruptions to global trade routes.
The US official confirmed that the precision strikes focused on specific Houthi assets to minimize collateral damage, emphasizing that civilian population centers were not targeted. The USS Florida, a guided missile submarine, played a role in the operation by firing Tomahawk land-attack missiles.
President Biden, despite initial hesitancy, authorized the strikes following the Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping on Tuesday, which marked a critical point in the decision-making process. The strikes occurred while Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, recovering from surgery, monitored the operation in real-time.
The Houthi leadership condemned the strikes, vowing that any US attack on Yemen would not go unanswered. The international community, through the United Nations Security Council, had previously condemned Houthi attacks on merchant and commercial vessels.
As tensions persist, the US signaled the possibility of further actions against the Houthi militants. The situation remains fluid, with explosions reported in Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah, indicating potential ongoing developments.