UK joins US in shooting down dozens of Houthi targets in Yemen
Fox News’ Stephanie Bennett on world leaders’ reactions to U.S. strikes in the Middle East
The U.S. launched “self-defense” strikes against four Houthi unmanned surface vessels (USV) and seven mobile anti-ship cruise missiles prepared to launch into the Red Sea, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced.
In a post on the social media platform X, CENTCOM said cruise missiles were prepared to launch against ships in the Red Sea.
“CENTCOM identified these missiles and USVs in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined they presented an imminent threat to U.S. Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region,” the post read. “These actions will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy and merchant vessels.”
Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have launched 48 attacks on vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since Nov. 19.
US CONDUCTS ‘SELF-DEFENSE STRIKES’ AGAINST HOUTHI ANTI-SHIP CRUISE MISSILES
Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters on Thursday that since the first coalition strikes on Jan. 11, U.S. forces have destroyed or degraded over 100 missiles and launchers, including anti-ship land attack and surface-to-air missiles, numerous communication capabilities, unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned surface vessels, coastal radars, air surveillance capabilities and weapons storage areas.
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to inquiries from Fox News Digital on the strikes.
While these self-defense strikes against Houthis and other Iranian-backed proxies continue, the U.S. continues to claim it is not looking for a war.
US RETALIATORY STRIKES WILL PROVE ‘INEFFECTIVE’: KIRK LIPPOLD
An aircraft takes off to join the U.S.-led coalition to conduct air strikes against military targets in Yemen, aimed at the Iran-backed Houthi militia that has been targeting international shipping in the Red Sea, from an undisclosed location, in this screengrab from a video released on Jan. 12. (US Central Command via X/Reuters)
“I will repeat again, that the U.S. does not want escalation and that these strikes are directly in response to the actions by the Iranian-backed Houthis,” Ryder said. “Again, however, we will not hesitate to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most vital waterways.”
Earlier this week, CENTCOM published a video showing U.S. forces supporting joint strikes against Houthi militants.
The video showed rockets launching from the ships in pitch-black darkness. The efforts were part of joint strikes against the Houthis, which included support from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Bahrain, the Netherlands and New Zealand.
US STRIKES HOUTHI ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILE INSIDE YEMEN, OFFICIAL SAYS
Houthi fighters walk over British and U.S flags at a rally in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and the recent Houthi strikes on shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden on February 4, 2024, on the outskirts of Sana’a, Yemen. The rally comes amid U.S. and British strikes against 36 Houthi targets in Yemen on Saturday, the second day of major U.S. attacks following an attack on American troops last weekend that killed three U.S. soldiers at a remote post in Jordan just across the border with Iraq by fighters with links to Iran. (Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images)
CENTCOM said that the Saturday strikes were launched by USS Carney, USS Gravely and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the recent counterstrikes are aimed to “degrade the capabilities” of the Houthis.
“These strikes are intended to further disrupt and degrade the capabilities of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia to conduct their reckless and destabilizing attacks against U.S. and international vessels lawfully transiting the Red Sea,” Austin said in a statement on Saturday.
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“This collective action sends a clear message to the Houthis that they will continue to bear further consequences if they do not end their illegal attacks on international shipping and naval vessels,” he added.
Fox News Digital’s Liz Friden and Andrea Vacchiano contributed to this report.
Greg Wehner is a breaking news reporter for Fox News Digital.
Story tips and can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter @GregWehner.