The United States and the United Kingdom have hit the Houthis with airstrikes against Iranian-backed militias

Unlock the Publisher’s Digest for free

U.S. forces carried out a second phase of airstrikes in response to the deaths of three American soldiers in Jordan last weekend, this time hitting targets in Yemen, where Iran-backed Houthi rebels have wreaked havoc on commercial shipping.

The United States, along with the United Kingdom, struck 36 Houthi targets in Yemen at 13 locations on Saturday, a day after striking Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps targets in Iraq and Syria, according to the Pentagon.

“Our goal remains to ease tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea, but we reiterate our warning to the Houthi leadership: we will not hesitate to continue to defend lives and the free flow of trade in one of the world’s most critical waterways in the face of continuing threats,” the United States, the United Kingdom and six other nations said in a joint statement.

According to the statement, Saturday’s attacks targeted Houthi weapons storage facilities, missile and launcher systems, air defenses and radars. The United States, sometimes acting with the United Kingdom, began striking Houthi targets on January 11, but the rebel group has continued its attacks on international shipping.

“This collective action sends a clear message to the Houthis that they will continue to face further consequences if they do not end their unlawful attacks against warships and international shipping,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.

British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps denied the attacks were an escalation.

“The Houthi attacks against commercial and military vessels in the Red Sea are illegal and unacceptable and it is our duty to protect innocent lives and preserve freedom of navigation,” he said.

Iran and Iraq had warned on Saturday that US strikes could trigger greater instability across the region.

US President Joe Biden is trying to discourage continued targeting of the American military by avoiding being drawn into a full-scale regional war. Since mid-October, Iran-backed groups have launched more than 160 attacks against American troops in Iraq, Syria and Jordan.

Last weekend’s drone attack on an American military base in Jordan was the first to kill American forces since the war between Israel and Hamas began, raising the risk of escalation.

The US said it struck 85 targets at 7 sites on Friday. The Iraqi government said on Saturday that 16 people, including civilians, were killed in the attacks. The Syrian army said “many civilian and military martyrs” had been killed, but provided no other details.

The United States has also become more involved in the Red Sea, where the Iranian-backed Houthis have launched more than 39 attacks against commercial and military vessels transiting this crucial waterway.

The United States has already conducted more than 12 strikes in Yemen to dissuade the Houthis from launching further attacks, which the rebel group says will continue until Israel attacks Gaza.

The most recent attack against Houthi targets occurred last Saturday, when the US military struck six anti-ship cruise missiles it was preparing to launch at ships in the Red Sea.

Washington blamed last weekend’s drone attack on the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a shadowy group believed to include Kataib Hezbollah, an Iraqi Shiite militia, as well as other militants who have claimed responsibility for attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.

The IRI is part of Iran’s so-called Axis of Resistance, a network of militant groups that includes the Houthis in northern Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *