US and UK carry out strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen for first time in months

The US and UK carried out a series of strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen on Thursday for the first time in more than three months, according to US Central Command.

In addition, the US unilaterally destroyed eight aerial attack drones over Yemen and the Red Sea.

The coalition strikes targeted 13 Houthi targets in parts of Yemen controlled by the Iran-backed terror group. They marked the fifth round of coalition strikes against the Houthis, who have repeatedly attacked US Navy ships and commercial vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The two waterways, separated by the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, are critical to international shipping routes.

The last round of strikes occurred on February 24, as the US and UK targeted Houthi weapons and radar sites.

The US has tried to disrupt the Houthi’s ability to target commercial vessels and US warships by going after their primary weapons, including anti-ship cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and one-way attack drones. The US has also destroyed maritime drones and underwater drones. The resumption of strikes follows an uptick in Houthi attacks over the last week.

This week, the US destroyed Houthi missile launchers in Yemen and intercepted aerial attack drones.

On Tuesday, three Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles struck a Greek-owned and operated merchant ship in the Red Sea, according to US Central Command. There were no injuries, according to Central Command, and the M/V Lax was able to continue its voyage.

The US spearheaded Operation Prosperity Guardian in December to protect international shipping, banding together with other nations to intercept Houthi attacks. The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and a number of destroyers have patrolled the waters of the region to intercept Houthi launches.

The USS Carney, a guided missile destroyer that recently returned from the Middle East, had 51 engagements in six months, which Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last week was “the most direct Navy engagement with a foe since World War II.”

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