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US strikes Houthi drones, weapons storage container in Yemen

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The U.S. armed forces said that they carried out self-defence strikes against drones, missiles and weapons storage containers in areas of Yemen controlled by the Iran-backed Houthi militia late on Monday.

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said it had successfully engaged and destroyed seven anti-ship missiles, three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and three weapons storage containers in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen in self-defense.

“It was determined these weapons presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region,” CENTCOM said in a statement.

The Islamist militia has vowed to attack ships in the Red Sea linked to Israel.

However, many of the ships that have come under fire have no connection to the country.

The Houthis said they would force an end to the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, which followed the unprecedented massacre by the Palestinian Islamist organisation Hamas in Israel on Oct. 7.

Because of the continuing Houthi attacks, major shipping companies were increasingly avoiding the shortest sea route between Asia and Europe and sailing around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope instead.

Several Western countries, including the U.S. and Britain, have launched operations to protect ships in the region in response to the Houthi attacks.

The European Union has also launched a military operation to secure merchant shipping in the Red Sea, one of the most important shipping routes for world trade.

On Thursday, militia chief Abdel-Malik al-Houthis said that the group would expand its operations to block ships linked to Israel from even passing through the Indian Ocean towards the Cape of Good Hope.

The following day, the militants said they had targeted three Israeli and U.S. vessels in the Indian Ocean.

Al-Houthi last week said his group had targeted more than 73 vessels and warships since they started their attacks in November.

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