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US Launches Retaliatory Strike Against Houthi Fighters in Yemen Amid Attacks on Ships

The United States has carried out a retaliatory strike against Houthi targets in Yemen in response to the group’s continued assaults on international ships in the region, officials confirmed on Wednesday.

Multiple Targets in Yemen Hit

Credit: DepositPhotos

The U.S. strike targeted five different areas in Yemen, including the governorates of Hodeidah, Taiz, Dhamar, Bayda, and Saada, according to reports from the Sanaa-Saba press agency and Houthi state media.

CENTCOM Statement

Credit: Dubbed “Martyrs are tidings of victory,” the military manoeuvre included launching heavy long-term missiles toward the Gaza Sea, simulating face-to-face fighting between the Palestinian militants and Israeli army forces on the ground. [Getty]

Central Command (CENTCOM) issued a statement on Wednesday night, explaining that the strike aimed at 14 Iranian-made Houthi missiles that were poised for launch in Houthi-controlled regions of Yemen.

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Imminent Threat

The statement emphasized that these missiles, positioned on launch rails, posed an imminent threat to both merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the vicinity, prompting the U.S. forces to exercise their right to self-defense.

Tomahawk Cruise Missiles Deployed

Credit: Depositphotos

The retaliatory strike utilized Tomahawk cruise missiles, which were launched from both U.S. Navy surface ships and a submarine, as reported by U.S. officials.

Houthi State Media’s Blame

Credit: Taiz / Yemen – 30 Nov 2016 : Soldiers fighting in the ranks of the legitimate army against Al-Houthi militia in Taiz City . — Photo by akram alrasny

Houthi state media pointed fingers at the United States and the United Kingdom for the attacks, though the U.S. is the sole nation that has acknowledged its involvement in the strike.

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Background: Houthi Drone Attack

Credit: Depositphotos

This retaliatory strike followed an incident where a drone originating from an Houthi-controlled area in Yemen targeted a U.S.-flagged carrier ship in the Gulf of Aden.

No Injuries Reported

Credit: pavlovakhrushev

Fortunately, there were no reported injuries in the attack, and the carrier ship, while sustaining some damage, remained seaworthy.

Statement from Genco Shipping

Credit: DepositPhotos

Genco Shipping, the company that owns the vessel, M/V Genco Picardy, confirmed the incident and noted that all seafarers aboard the ship were unharmed.

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Limited Damage

Initial inspections indicated limited damage to the vessel’s gangway, and the ship continued its course out of the area. The company and vessel crew maintained close communication with relevant authorities throughout the incident.

US Designates Houthi as a Terrorist Organization

CredIt: YEMEN, Sanaa : Shiite-Houthi supporters raise rifles during a demonstration in Sanaa on October 2, 2015, against ongoing military operations carried out by the Saudi-led coalition. — Photo by YAY_Images

In response to Iran-backed Houthi militants’ continued attacks on vital shipping routes in the Middle East, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday that the U.S. would reclassify the Yemeni rebel group as a terrorist organization. This designation aims to enhance restrictions on the group’s access to financial support.

Mitigating Impact on Yemeni Civilians

Credit: Depositphotos

Blinken emphasized that the restrictions and penalties associated with the designation would not take immediate effect, providing a 30-day window to minimize the impact on aid and commercial goods flowing to Yemeni civilians.

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Potential Reversal of Designation

Credit: Abduljabbar Zeyad | Reuters

Secretary Blinken underscored that if the Houthis cease their attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the United States would reconsider this designation, holding the door open for a reversal.

This move reflects U.S. efforts to address maritime security challenges in the region while avoiding harm to Yemeni civilians.

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