The United States and the United Kingdom jointly launched strikes for the second time this month against Houthi targets in Yemen, two US defense officials told CBS News.
The US Central Command said in a statement on Monday evening that the strikes were launched against eight Houthi targets and were carried out with the support of Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands.
“The targets included missile systems, launchers, air defense systems, radars, and deeply buried weapons storage facilities,” US Central Command said, adding that the strikes were aimed at “weakening the Houthis' ability to continue their reckless and illegal attacks on American and British ships.” As well as international commercial shipping in the Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandab Strait, and the Gulf of Aden.”
Earlier this month, with support from other countries,In Yemen with more than 150 precision-guided munitions.
In total, the United States carried out eight rounds of airstrikes, including Monday, against Houthi targetsOn commercial shipping.
A US official told CBS News that Monday's strikes were successful and had “good effects” on the targets. The official said that it is not known whether there were casualties among the Houthis.
The official said that the strikes were launched from air, surface and sub-surface platforms and included Tomahawk ground attack missiles in addition to manned aircraft from the US aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower.
The official added that the underground storage facilities contain more advanced weapons than the previously targeted sites.
US officials also said the Houthis were still “capable” of launching attacks against ships, but that these and previous strikes “certainly weakened their ability to launch naval attacks.”
It has launched more than 30 attacks on commercial shipping lanes since November. Although there were no serious casualties, the attacks prompted some shipping companies to direct their ships away from the Red Sea.
The Houthis have not been able to successfully launch an attack since January 18, although this is not for lack of trying. In two instances over the weekend, the United States struck Houthi missiles as the missiles were preparing to launch, according to US Central Command data.
These two strikes were part of five preemptive strikes launched by the United States over five days last week. A US official previously told CBS News that the initial strikes carried out by the US with the UK destroyed enough Houthi air defense capabilities to enable more comprehensive US surveillance of Yemen, making it possible to see what the Houthis are preparing for.
The Houthis have begun launching attacks on commercial ships, according to Houthi spokesmen, in protest against the war in Gaza, but many of the ships they have targeted have no connection to Israel or the Israeli war, according to US officials.
The United States initially avoided striking the Houthis directly, largely because the Biden administration was focused on preventing Israel's war with Hamas from turning into a broader conflict.
The Pentagon in December announced the formation of an international task force called “Operation Prosperity Sentinel,” which consists of about 20 countries that is slated to act as a kind of highway patrol in the Red Sea, providing additional support to commercial ships if needed, according to the report. British newspaper “Daily Mail”. Ministry of Defense.
This international effort is still ongoing, but it appears that the United States has decided that direct military action against Houthi targets remains a necessity.
—David Martin contributed reporting.
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