In Yemen, the US and UK bombed Houthi military bases that attacked ships near the Arabian Peninsula. Fighter jets, Navy destroyers, submarines, and Tomahawk cruise missiles struck. The multinational operation involved Australian, Bahraini, Canadian, and Dutch forces. The move followed repeated Houthi-led strikes on Red Sea shipping. The level of damage or injuries from Yemeni explosions is unknown.
US and Allies Conduct Airstrikes in Yemen in Response to Houthi Naval Attacks
The bombings followed weeks of Houthi raids on non-military ships in the Red Sea. The strikes endangered maritime boats and important business routes. President Joe Biden said the targeted strikes showed that the US and its partners will not tolerate attacks on personnel or international business. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowed to disrupt and destroy Houthi capabilities that threaten sailors and global trade.
Iran-backed Yemeni Houthis have disrupted Red Sea shipping lines by attacking international shipping. This was the 27th Houthi attack since November 19, raising tensions. President Biden called “unprecedented” naval vessel attacks in Yemen the reason for the US military’s first strikes since 2016. The US and its allies warned the Houthis of the consequences if they continued, and the UN Security Council required a stop to Houthi attacks on commerce and commercial vessels.
Not consulting Congress before launching the bombings worried many, even some in President Biden’s party. Rishi Sunak, the UK prime minister, called the strikes self-defense and stressed freedom of navigation and trade.
Airstrikes in Yemen Escalate Tensions and Draw Houthi Condemnation
After the strikes, unconfirmed allegations of attacks on US bases in Iraq circulated on social media, escalating tensions. Houthi officials called the coordinated bombing American-Zionist-British aggression and refused to retreat.
The airstrikes complicated Middle East dynamics by increasing regional tensions and disputes.