US Navy Fighter Jets Successfully Strike Houthi Missile Launchers In Yemen

By Ethan Cole on
 January 20, 2024

In a significant escalation, U.S. fighter jets struck Iranian-backed Houthi rebel sites in Yemen. This operation, which occurred on Friday, marks the sixth such strike against these militants.

The strikes targeted three anti-ship missiles in Yemen, aimed at disrupting Houthi plans to attack shipping lanes.

According to U.S. officials, F/A-18 aircraft from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier carried out these strikes. This follows a pattern of similar U.S. attacks on Houthi launchers that have been taking place almost daily this week.

Details of the Strike and Biden's Acknowledgment

U.S. Central Command revealed that the strike occurred around 6:45 p.m. local time in Sanaa, Yemen's capital. The missiles were positioned in the southern Red Sea, poised for launch and posing an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region.

The strikes were deemed necessary for self-defense, although the specific method of the strikes wasn't disclosed.

This action underscores the U.S.'s commitment to maintaining safety in crucial maritime regions, Military.com reported.

President Joe Biden, acknowledging the intensity of the situation, stated on Thursday that despite the joint efforts of U.S. and British forces, including a significant strike on January 12, Houthi attacks on Red Sea vessels continue to disrupt global shipping.

Houthi Responses and Escalating Tensions

Al-Masirah, a Houthi-run news channel, reported air raids in Hodieda's al-Jabaana neighborhood, though the exact location of U.S. strikes remains unconfirmed. These developments highlight the ongoing conflict in the region.

These strikes are part of a series of rapid U.S. military responses to Houthi missile threats. The U.S. military's growing capability to detect and neutralize such threats in Yemen is evident.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, noted the increase in preemptive missions by the U.S. military against Houthi missile launchers.

Continued Threat Despite U.S. Actions

"This is the fourth preemptive action that the U.S. military has taken in the past week against Houthi missile launchers that were ready to launch attacks, in this case, anti-ship missiles,” Kirby said. He emphasized that these self-defense strikes are aimed at securing shipping lanes.

Despite these efforts, Houthi attacks on ships in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden continue almost daily, showing the persistent threat posed by the rebels.

The Biden administration has responded by reinstating the Houthis on its list of specially designated global terrorists. This move aims to cut off the rebels' financing sources while allowing humanitarian aid to continue flowing into impoverished Yemen.

Houthis' Attacks and Motivations

For months, the Houthis have been attacking ships in the Red Sea, claiming these vessels are either linked to Israel or heading to Israeli ports. They justify these attacks as a response to Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip, initiated by Hamas' attack in southern Israel on October 7.

Their attacks are reportedly aimed at ending the Israeli offensive in Gaza. However, the legitimacy of the targeted ships' connections to Israel has become increasingly questionable as the attacks persist.

Kirby from the White House highlighted the ongoing offensive capabilities of the Houthis and the U.S.'s preparedness to continue its defensive actions.

Conclusion and Implications

The recent U.S. military actions in Yemen represent a significant development in the ongoing conflict with the Houthi rebels. These strikes, while aimed at protecting vital shipping lanes, have not yet deterred the rebels' aggressive actions in the region.

The continued Houthi attacks pose a significant threat to international shipping and regional stability. The U.S. military's increased presence and actions in the region demonstrate a strong commitment to safeguarding these interests.

The Biden administration's decision to reclassify the Houthis as a terrorist group reflects the seriousness of the situation and the U.S. government's resolve to address the threat effectively.

  • U.S. fighter jets struck Iranian-backed Houthi rebel sites in Yemen, marking the sixth such operation.
  • The strikes targeted anti-ship missiles in Yemen, conducted by F/A-18 aircraft from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • Houthi attacks continue to disrupt global shipping despite these strikes.
  • The U.S. military's rapid response capabilities in Yemen are growing stronger.
  • The Biden administration has reinstated the Houthis as a designated global terrorist group.
  • Houthis claim their attacks aim to retaliate against Israeli actions in Gaza.

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