Aircraft joins strikes against Houthis
Aircraft joins strikes against HouthisReuters

The US and Britain announced on Saturday they had struck 36 targets of the Iranian-affiliated Houthis in Yemen.

“Today, at the direction of their respective governments, 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 in response to the Houthis' continued attacks against international and commercial shipping as well as naval vessels transiting the Red Sea,” said a joint statement from the countries.

“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 destabilizing 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.”

“Today's strike specifically targeted sites associated with the Houthis' deeply buried weapons storage facilities, missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, and radars,” the statement continued.

“The Houthis' now more than 30 attacks on commercial vessels and naval vessels since mid-November constitute an international challenge. Recognizing the broad consensus of the international community, our coalition of likeminded 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.”

“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,” the countries said.

Earlier, three officials told Reuters that the US launched a series of strikes against Iranian-affiliated targets in Yemen.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity and did not provide further details on the locations of the targets.

According to Yemeni media, there were strikes in Al-Hudaydah and Sanaa.

On Saturday morning, the USS Carney (DDG 64) shot down a UAV over the Gulf of Aden. No injuries or damage were reported.

At around 4:40p.m. (Sanaa time), US Central Command forces conducted strikes against four Houthi UAVs that were prepared to launch. US forces identified the UAVs in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined that they presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and the US Navy ships in the region. US forces subsequently struck and destroyed the UAVs in self-defense.

Then, at 9:20 p.m. (Sanaa time), USS Laboon (DDG 58) and F/A-18s from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group engaged and shot down seven UAVs over the Red Sea. There were no injuries or damage reported. These actions will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy vessels and merchant vessels.

Saturday’s strikes come a day after the US began retaliatory strikes in Syria against Iran-backed militias for a drone strike on an American base in Jordan last Sunday that killed three US service members.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition-affiliated organization which is based in London, said eight posts of the pro-Iranian militias were attacked and at least six people were killed.