US and UK Launch Strikes on Houthi Targets in Yemen, Citing Defense of Global Trade

In a joint effort, the United States and the United Kingdom carried out a new round of airstrikes on Houthi positions in Yemen. The Pentagon revealed that eight targets, including an underground storage site and Houthi missile facilities, were hit in the operation on Monday.

The Houthis, backed by Iran, have been targeting ships in the Red Sea, claiming connections to Israel and the West. The US and UK asserted that their actions aim to safeguard the “free flow of commerce” through the crucial trade route.

A Pentagon statement emphasized the strikes as “proportionate and necessary” to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea. The warning to Houthi leadership reiterated the commitment to defending lives and global commerce in one of the world’s vital waterways.

This marks the eighth US strike on Houthi targets in Yemen and the second joint operation with the UK. The strikes received support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands.

US fighter jets from the USS Eisenhower carrier and four RAF Typhoons, accompanied by Voyager tankers, participated in the recent strikes. The UK Ministry of Defence stressed rigorous planning to minimize civilian risks, conducting the bombings at night.

UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps framed the strikes as self-defense against the Houthis’ “intolerable attacks” on merchant shipping, aiming to degrade Houthi capabilities and protect global trade.

The Houthi-run Al Masirah TV reported strikes in Yemen’s Sanaa, Taiz, and Bayda provinces. Despite previous joint strikes, the Houthis remain defiant, continuing attacks on ships in the Red Sea.

The operation, named Poseidon Archer, follows a US-led initiative targeting fresh Houthi positions. The Houthis, supplied and advised by Iran, persist in their attacks on ships they suspect of ties to Israel, the US, or the UK.

US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak discussed the ongoing Houthi attacks in a recent call, emphasizing the commitment to freedom of navigation and international commerce. The leaders also addressed the importance of humanitarian aid and civilian protections in Gaza.

The Houthis initiated attacks on merchant vessels in response to Israel’s military operations in Gaza, escalating tensions in the Red Sea. The recent strikes underscore the international effort to curb Houthi actions and protect the crucial maritime trade route.

Source: BBC

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