Washington: Militaries from the United States and the United Kingdom conducted additional strikes against the Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen on Saturday, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has said.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Austin said that the US and the UK also received support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and New Zealand in conducting the additional strikes.
“Militaries from the United States and United Kingdom conducted additional strikes against the Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen. This collective action sends a clear message to the Houthis that they will continue to bear further consequences if they do not end their illegal attacks on international shipping and naval vessels. We will not hesitate to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways,” Austin said.
These strikes, he said, are intended to disrupt further and degrade the capabilities of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia to conduct their reckless and destabilising attacks against US and international vessels lawfully transiting the Red Sea.
Austin said that the coalition forces targeted 13 locations associated with the Houthis’ deeply buried weapons storage facilities, missile systems and launchers, air defence systems, and radars, Austin said.
A joint statement issued by the US, the UK and its other coalition partners said that the militaries of the United States and United Kingdom, with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand conducted an additional round of proportionate and necessary strikes against 36 Houthi targets across 13 locations in Yemen.
This was in response to the Houthis’ continued attacks against international and commercial shipping as well as naval vessels transiting the Red Sea.
These precision strikes are intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities that the Houthis use to threaten global trade, and the lives of innocent mariners, and are in response to a series of illegal, dangerous, and destabilising Houthi actions since previous coalition strikes on January 11 and 22, 2024, including the January 27 attack which struck and set ablaze the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker M/V Marlin Luanda, the statement added.
“Today’s strike specifically targeted sites associated with the Houthis’ deeply buried weapons storage facilities, missile systems and launchers, air defence systems, and radars,” it said.
The Houthis’ now more than 30 attacks on commercial vessels and naval vessels since mid-November constitute an international challenge.
“Recognising the broad consensus of the international community, our coalition of like-minded countries committed to upholding the rules-based order has continued to grow. We remain committed to protecting freedom of navigation and international commerce and holding the Houthis accountable for their illegal and unjustifiable attacks on commercial shipping and naval vessels,” the statement said.
“Our aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea but let us reiterate our warning to Houthi leadership: we will not hesitate to continue to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways in the face of continued threats,” said the statement issued by these countries.