U.S. and U.K. strike Houthi targets in Yemen

Image taken from the bridge of HMS Diamond, seen here firing Sea Viper missiles in the Red Sea on Oct. 1. The HMS Diamond along with U.S. warships successfully repelled a large attack from the Iranian-backed Houthis in the Red Sea. The United States and Britain launched strikes on about a dozen Houthi militant targets in Yemen, according to a U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The strikes follow more than two months of attacks by the Houthis against international cargo ships and U.S. warships in the Red Sea, expanding a Middle East conflict U.S. officials have worked hard to contain. In a written statement, President Biden stressed that the joint attacks were a defensive response to Houthi actions, and had the support of Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands. “These targeted strikes are a clear message that the United States and our partners will not tolerate attacks on our personnel or allow hostile actors to imperil freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most critical commercial routes,” Biden said. “I will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary.” The defense official told NPR the strikes were carried out using surface ships and submarines as well as Navy ship-based warplanes and Air Force attack aircraft, in addition to British aircraft. The targets include radar sites, drone launchers and drone storage sites — chosen in an effort to “degrade” the Houthis’ ability to attack shipping. The Biden administration has been telegraphing possible retaliation against the Iranian-backed Houthi militants for days, with one senior official saying the Houthis would face “consequences” if the attacks continued. The official said President Biden met with his national security team on New Year’s Day to discuss options. Since November, the […]

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