Dozens more U.S., U.K. strikes target ‘deeply buried’ Houthi targets

Click to play video: 'U.S., U.K. launch new wave of strikes on Yemen’s Houthis over weekend'
U.S., U.K. launch new wave of strikes on Yemen’s Houthis over weekend
After months of trying to contain tensions from boiling over into a broader Middle East conflict, the U.S. is escalating its military involvement in the region. In just 48 hours, Washington launched two major operations against what it says are Iran-backed targets, striking 36 Houthi targets in Yemen with help from the U.K. and support from Canada. Not only is Washington promising further action, the Houthi rebel group also says the U.S. attacks will not go unpunished. Redmond Shannon has more – Feb 4, 2024

The United States and United Kingdom have launched “proportionate and necessary strikes” against 36 Houthi targets across 13 locations in Yemen, according to a joint military statement issued through the Canadian Forces on Monday.

The joint statement says these strikes were done with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and New Zealand, echoing language used in announcements over recent weeks of previous U.S.-U.K. strikes on the group’s infrastructure.

According to the statement, the strikes targeted sites associated with the Houthi’s “deeply buried” weapons storage facilities, missile systems and launchers, air defence systems and radars.

The Houthis are an Iran-backed rebel group that has been attacking western commercial and military vessels in the Red Sea in opposition to Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

Click to play video: 'Yemen’s Houthi Rebels impact on Middle East conflict'
Yemen’s Houthi Rebels impact on Middle East conflict

On Jan. 17, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the U.S. government would designate the Houthis as a terrorist group after a 30-day implementation period due to the attacks in the Red Sea. Officials said the U.S. would “immediately reevaluate” the Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) designation if the Houthis cease their attacks in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

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These strikes are intended to “disrupt and degrade” Houthi capabilities as the militant group has launched more than 30 attacks on commercial and naval-vessels in the Red Sea.

Previous joint strikes from the U.S. and U.K. targeted the Houthis on Jan. 11, 22 and 27.

About 400 commercial vessels transit the southern Red Sea at any given time. And the ongoing violence has prompted companies to reroute their ships, sending them around Africa through the Cape of Good Hope instead — a much longer and less efficient passage.

“Our aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea but let us reiterate our warning to Houthi leadership: we will not hesitate to continue to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways in the face of continued threats,” the statement concludes.

— with files from Global News’ Sean Previl

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