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US and UK launch new airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen

US and UK launch new airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen

US and UK launch new airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen

US and UK launch new airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen

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  • The US and UK aimed to “further degrade” Houthi capabilities.
  • Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand provided support for the strikes.
  • US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin emphasized the need for an international response to the Houthi attacks.
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The Pentagon has announced that US and UK fighter planes conducted strikes on 18 Houthi sites in Yemen – marking the fourth joint operation by the allies. Saturday’s strikes targeted storage facilities, drones, air defense systems, radars, and a helicopter belonging to the militant movement, according to US officials. The UK stated that the allies took action to “further degrade” Houthi capabilities. The Iran-backed Houthis have been carrying out sustained attacks on shipping in the crucial Red Sea trade route.

The Houthis, who control large swathes of Yemen including the capital Sanaa, have been targeting vessels they claim are linked to Israel and the West in response to the ongoing Israel-Gaza war. Some of the biggest shipping companies are now diverting journeys from the Red Sea, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, causing severe disruption and rising costs for global supply chains.

In a joint statement, the Pentagon announced that Saturday’s “necessary and proportionate strikes specifically targeted 18 Houthi targets across eight locations in Yemen associated with Houthi underground weapons storage facilities, missile storage facilities, one-way attack unmanned aerial systems, air defense systems, radars, and a helicopter.”

“These precision strikes are intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities that the Houthis use to threaten global trade, naval vessels, and the lives of innocent mariners in one of the world’s most critical waterways.”

The statement said, “The Houthis’ now more than 45 attacks on commercial and naval vessels since mid-November constitute a threat to the global economy, as well as regional security and stability, and demand an international response”.

The statement added that Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand supported the strikes.

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Shortly afterward, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin emphasized that America “will not hesitate to take action, as needed, to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways.”

UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps stated in a separate statement, “it is our duty to protect lives at sea and preserve freedom of navigation.”

“That is why the Royal Air Force engaged in a fourth wave of precision strikes against Houthi military targets in Yemen”. Earlier this week, the crew of a Belize-flagged, British-registered cargo vessel abandoned ship off Yemen after the Houthis fired missiles at it.

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