The United States and British forces carried out a second round of strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen on Monday – the latest move against the Iran-aligned group over its targeting of Red Sea shipping.
The attacks were the eighth launched by the U.S., but only the second joint effort. The first joint strikes were on January 11.
U.S. Central Command said the strikes were ‘intended to degrade Houthi capability to continue their reckless and unlawful attacks on U.S. and U.K. ships as well as international commercial shipping in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden.’
They said targets ‘included missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, radars, and deeply buried weapons storage facilities.’
U.S. fighter jets from the carrier USS Eisenhower were reported to be involved in Monday’s strikes, but it was not known what the targets were. CBS News reported that targets included Houthi-operated radars.
Fox reported that the targets included Al Dailami Air Base, along with missile launching sites and weapons storage facilities for ballistic missiles and drones.
An British Typhoon aircraft takes off from Royal Air Force base Akrotiri in Cyprus, to take part in airstrikes in Houthi-controlled Yemen earlier this month. On Monday, the second set of joint strikes were launched
The sites of the January 11 airstrikes are pictured. It is not yet clear which targets were hit on Monday
Houthi rebels are pictured on Monday at a tribal rally near Sanaa, in Yemen
Houthi supporters are seen on Monday at a rally in support of Palestine. The rebels began their attacks on shipping in a show of support for Gazans being bombed by Israel
A Houthi fighter manning a machine gun mounted on a vehicle during a tribal parade held on Monday against the United States-led aerial attacks launched on sites in Yemen
In the past, the United States and British forces have mainly hit Houthi missiles and radar sites. The January 11 attacks targeted just under 30 locations with 150 different weapons, CBS reported.
A U.S. official previously told CBS News that the initial strikes, on January 11, destroyed enough of the Houthis’ air defense capabilities to allow surveillance of their territory, and make it possible to see what the Houthis are preparing.
The White House said Biden and Sunak on Monday ‘discussed ongoing Iranian-backed Houthi attacks against merchant and naval vessels transiting the Red Sea’.
They reiterated ‘their commitment to freedom of navigation, international commerce, and defending mariners from illegal and unjustifiable attacks’, the White House said.
It added: ‘The president and prime minister discussed the importance of increasing humanitarian aid and civilian protections for people in Gaza, and securing the release of hostages held by Hamas.’
The Houthi attacks have disrupted global shipping and stoked fears of global inflation.
They have also deepened concern that fallout from the Israel-Hamas war could destabilize the Middle East.
The Houthis, which control the west of the country, centered around Sanaa, have caused chaos in international shipping
But multiple U.S. strikes over the past month have failed to stop Houthi attacks against shipping.
Container vessels have been pausing or diverting from the Red Sea that leads to the Suez Canal, the fastest freight route from Asia to Europe.
Many ships have been forced to take the longer route via the Cape of Good Hope instead.
The Houthis have not been able to successfully launch an attack since January 18, but they have made multiple attempts.
In two cases over the weekend, the U.S. struck Houthi missiles as the missiles were being prepared to launch, according to statements from U.S. Central Command.