The US carried out another strike against Yemen’s Houthi forces on Friday, responding to recent tensions, as reported by two undisclosed officials cited by Reuters.
This move comes in the wake of President Joe Biden’s administration’s commitment to safeguarding shipping activities in the Red Sea.
The latest strike, reportedly targeting a radar site, follows a series of US and British strikes against facilities belonging to the Iran-backed Houthi group.
The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, refrained from providing specific details. Radar infrastructure has emerged as a crucial focus in the US military’s efforts to counter Houthi attacks in the Red Sea.
Al-Masirah, the television channel of the Houthi movement, alleged that the United States and Britain aimed their raids at the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. The escalating conflict has raised concerns about a broader regional crisis.
US and British warplanes, ships, and submarines launched missiles on Thursday, targeting various locations in Yemen controlled by the Houthi group.
The group frames its maritime campaign as support for Palestinians in Gaza, under siege by Israel.
Despite Houthi leaders vowing retaliation, President Biden cautioned on Friday that additional strikes could be ordered if Houthi attacks on merchant and military vessels persist in one of the world’s vital waterways.
US Strikes Hit Multiple Houthi Military Bases in Yemen
Explosions were reported on Friday at military bases near airports in Sanaa and Taiz, a naval base in Hodeidah, and military sites in the coastal Hajjah governorate.
The White House indicated that the strikes aimed to cripple the Houthi’s ability to store, launch, and guide missiles or drones, which have been utilized to threaten shipping in the Red Sea.
The Pentagon asserted that the US-British assault diminished the Houthi’s capacity to launch fresh attacks, hitting 60 targets in 28 sites. Despite the Houthis claiming five fighters were killed, they pledged to persist in their attacks on regional shipping.
The UK Maritime Trade Operations reported a missile landing around 500 meters from a Panama-flagged tanker carrying Russian oil. Drone footage on Houthi TV showed large crowds in Sanaa, denouncing Israel and the United States.
President Biden, questioned about the Houthi movement being labeled as “terrorist,” affirmed his belief that they are. The Red Sea crisis is viewed as a spillover of the Israel-Hamas conflict, with escalating violence causing global concern.
Amid fears of supply disruptions, the price of Brent crude oil rose over $2 on Friday. Biden expressed concern about the impact of the Middle East conflict on oil prices.Commercial ship-tracking data revealed disruptions in Red Sea shipping, with at least nine oil tankers changing course.
The strikes come after months of Houthi raids on ships they claimed were heading for Israel. While some major US allies supported the strikes, others, including Italy, Spain, and France, refrained, expressing concerns about wider escalation.
As tensions escalate, Houthi attacks force commercial ships into longer, costlier routes around Africa, raising fears of inflation and supply-chain disruption. Container shipping rates for key global routes have surged this week.
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