Washington and London have carried out a series of combined air- and sea-launched strikes against at least 36 targets at 13 locations across Yemen, the US Central Command announced on Saturday.
The joint operation was carried out by Tomahawk missiles launched from US Navy ships, and F/A-18 fighter-bombers launched from the aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower. The US Central Command said the raid targeted “multiple underground storage facilities, command and control, missile systems, UAV storage and operations sites, radars, and helicopters”.
“These strikes are intended to degrade Houthi capabilities used to continue their reckless and unlawful attacks on US and UK ships as well as international commercial shipping,” CENTCOM added.
UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps has also stated that strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen are about protection.
“The Houthis’ attacks on commercial and military vessels in the Red Sea are illegal and unacceptable and it is our duty to protect innocent lives and preserve freedom of navigation,” Shapps said in a statement after the United Kingdom and United States conducted the strikes against the group.
Shapps also added the strikes were “not an escalation”, noting that they have “already successfully targeted launchers and storage sites involved in Houthi attacks” on ships in the Red Sea.
Earlier on Saturday, the US struck six locations in Yemen, stating they contained Houthi cruise missiles set to be launched at ships in the Red Sea, US Central Command reported on X (formerly Twitter).
In response, the Houthis are set to “meet escalation with escalation”, according to a senior political official and spokesman Mohammed al-Bukhaiti.
“Our military operations against the Zionist entity will continue until the aggression against Gaza stops, no matter what sacrifices it costs us,” he wrote on X.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels have been attacking shipping in the region in solidarity with Palestinians since the breakout of the Israel-Hamas conflict in October last year. Initially targeting only Israeli-affiliated vessels, the Houthis later began attacking the US and UK-owned ships, after the coalition launched strikes against Yemen.