US and UK launch fresh strikes on Houthis in Yemen

Watch: Explosions and flashes near Yemen’s capital The US and UK have conducted a fresh series of joint air strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen. The Pentagon said Monday’s strikes hit eight targets, including an underground storage site and Houthi missile and surveillance capability. The Iran-backed Houthis have been targeting ships they say are linked to Israel and the West that travel through the important Red Sea trade route. The US and UK said they were trying to protect the “free flow of commerce”. A joint statement issued by the Pentagon confirmed “an additional round of proportionate and necessary strikes” against the Houthis. The statement added: “Our aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea, but let us reiterate our warning to Houthi leadership: we will not hesitate to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways in the face of continued threats.” On Tuesday the Pentagon said its assessment was that the strikes destroyed or degraded more than 25 missile launch and deployment facilities. This is the eighth strike by the US against Houthi targets in Yemen. It is the second joint operation with the UK, after joint strikes were carried out on 11 January. Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron told reporters the UK had sent a “clear message” and that it will “continue to degrade” the Houthis’ ability to carry out attacks. Asked whether the strikes could escalate tensions in the Middle East, Lord Cameron said it was the Houthis who were escalating the situation and he was “confident” the previous strikes had been effective. He went on to say the Houthis’ narrative that the strikes were related to the war between Israel and Hamas “shouldn’t be accepted”, and the UK wants to see a “swift […]

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