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US, UK, and Allies Target Houthi-Controlled Areas in Yemen to Safeguard Red Sea Navigation

US and UK armed forces, supported by allies such as Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, conducted airstrikes on eight locations in Yemen.

Determined To Counter Houthis

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This action underscores the determination of the United States and its partners to counter Iranian-backed Houthi aggression, particularly their attempts to block the Red Sea, while allowing Russian- and Chinese-linked ships to pass.

Freedom of Navigation and Global Trade

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Maintaining freedom of navigation is a critical element of global trade and has been a fundamental pillar of US foreign policy for over a century.

The recent airstrikes signal the resolve to safeguard this essential aspect of international commerce.

International Coalition’s Response to Houthi Aggression

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US Central Command revealed that these airstrikes were part of ongoing international efforts to address the destabilizing and illegal activities of the Houthi in the region.

The coalition aimed to target Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen where these activities were originating.

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Support from Key Allies

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The involvement of Canada, Australia, and the UK, members of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing network, underscores the broad international support for these actions.

The Five Eyes network also includes the US and New Zealand, with New Zealand being the smallest member.

Bahrain’s Significance in Backing Strikes

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Bahrain’s support for the airstrikes carries particular significance as it hosts the US Fifth Fleet, a key element in regional security.

This support strengthens the coalition’s operations in the region.

Targeting Houthi Capabilities

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The strikes against Yemen mark a new phase in the response to Houthi aggression.

The objective is to degrade the Houthi’s capabilities, particularly their arsenal of Iranian-backed drones and missiles.

These weapons have been increasingly employed with greater precision to target ships in the region.

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Iran’s Campaign Against Shipping

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Iran’s broader campaign against shipping began in 2019, with instances of cruise missiles and drones used to attack Saudi Arabia.

The Houthis, backed by Iran, have become a testing ground for Iranian precision drone and ballistic missile attacks, with their threat to shipping becoming evident only recently.

Operationalization of Houthis

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The Houthis became operational following the Hamas attack on Israel in October, escalating tensions in the region.

Iran has employed the Houthis in an attempt to blockade Israel and carry out attacks on various ships.

Destruction of Missile Silos and Stockpiles

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To effectively counter the Houthis, their missile silos and stockpiles will need to be targeted and destroyed, as these represent a significant threat to regional stability.

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Strikes on Air Defense Systems and Airports

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In addition to targeting missile facilities, the airstrikes have reportedly hit air defense systems and areas near airports in Yemen.

This comprehensive approach aims to neutralize the Houthi’s offensive capabilities.

Differentiating from Freedom of Navigation Actions

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US Central Command clarified that these strikes are separate from multinational freedom of navigation operations conducted under Operation Prosperity Guardian, emphasizing their distinct objectives.

UK’s Role in the Airstrikes

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Britain’s Defense Ministry announced that four Air Force Typhoon jets were involved in the airstrikes, targeting multiple locations near Sanaa airfield.

The UK’s Defense Secretary Grant Shapps highlighted the goal of degrading Houthi capabilities.

Houthi’s Response and Threats

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The Houthis have vowed that these attacks will not go unanswered and have made threats of retaliation.

Iranian media outlets, such as Tasnim, have relayed the Houthi’s intentions.

However, the effectiveness of their retaliation may be limited due to the destruction of their weaponry.

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