The United States and the United Kingdom executed a second wave of strikes on at least 30 Houthi targets in Yemen on Saturday. The operation aimed to cripple Iran-backed groups that have persistently targeted American and international interests following the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin disclosed that the military action garnered support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.
The strikes, conducted by both ships and fighter jets, targeted 13 locations associated with the Houthi militia. These locations included deeply buried weapons storage facilities, missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, and radars. Defense Secretary Austin emphasized that the objective was to disrupt and degrade the capabilities of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, deterring their destabilizing attacks in the Red Sea.
U.S. F/A-18 fighter jets from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier, alongside American warships firing Tomahawk missiles from the Red Sea, carried out the strikes on Houthi targets situated in 10 different locations. Notably, Navy destroyers USS Gravely and USS Carney played a role in launching missiles.
This marked the third instance of a large-scale, joint operation by the U.S. and Britain against Houthi weapon launchers, radar sites, and drones. Despite these actions, the Houthi group remains steadfast in its assault, having displayed no intention of scaling back its attacks.
Preceding the joint operation, the USS Laboon and F/A-18s from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower intercepted seven drones launched from Houthi-controlled areas into the Red Sea. Additionally, the USS Carney downed a drone in the Gulf of Aden, while U.S. forces neutralized four more drones ready to launch. Hours before the joint operation, the U.S. conducted a self-defense strike, destroying six anti-ship cruise missiles in Yemen.
The U.S. Central Command asserted that this action was imperative to protect freedom of navigation and enhance the safety of international waters for U.S. Navy and merchant vessels. These strikes follow an air assault in Iraq and Syria targeting Iranian-backed militias and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, in response to a drone strike that claimed three U.S. troops in Jordan. However, a White House official clarified that Saturday’s strikes are unrelated to the events in Iraq and Syria and are a direct response to the actions of the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.