In the early hours of Saturday, American forces executed another airstrike on a Houthi-controlled site in Yemen, as confirmed by U.S. officials. The USS Carney, a destroyer, utilized Tomahawk missiles to target a Houthi radar site at 3:45 a.m. local time. While no detailed information was provided, a single loud explosion was heard in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, by Associated Press journalists.
This strike followed closely on the heels of joint U.S. and U.K. operations the previous day, addressing the Houthi rebel group’s persistent assaults on shipping vessels in the Red Sea, backed by Iran.
Lt. Gen. Douglas A. Sims II, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed that over 150 precision-guided munitions were deployed to hit nearly 30 locations, including command nodes, munitions depots, launching systems, production facilities, and air defense radar systems.
Friday’s attacks resulted in at least five casualties and six injuries, according to a Houthi military spokesperson. Undeterred, the Houthi movement’s Supreme Political Council pledged to persist in targeting commercial ships in the Red Sea. President Biden, during a tour in Pennsylvania, asserted the U.S.’s commitment to responding to Houthi actions and reiterated support from allies.
In a joint statement, the U.S., U.K., Australia, Bahrain, Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea justified the strikes as a response to “continued illegal, dangerous, and destabilizing Houthi attacks against vessels.” CENTCOM reported 28 attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea from Houthi-controlled areas since November 19, prompting major shipping companies to bypass the Suez Canal.
Highlighting the escalating tensions, Iranian-backed proxies have not only launched attacks in the Red Sea but also targeted U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria. The Biden administration, primarily focused on averting a wider regional conflict, faces an intricate geopolitical landscape as it navigates responses to Houthi actions, Iranian involvement, and broader security challenges across the Middle East.