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U.S. forces strike Houthi websites in Yemen for the fifth time

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Children maintain indicators, as supporters of the Houthi rally to denounce the U.S. labelling of Houthis as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ group, in Sanaa, Yemen January 19, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

U.S. forces performed a fifth strike in opposition to Iranian-backed Houthi insurgent army websites in Yemen as President Joe Biden acknowledged that the American and British bombardment had but to cease the militants’ assaults on vessels within the Red Sea which have disrupted world delivery.

The newest strikes destroyed two Houthi anti-ship missiles that “were aimed into the southern Red Sea and prepared to launch,” U.S. Central Command mentioned in a press release posted to X. They had been performed by Navy F/A-18 fighter plane, the Pentagon mentioned.

Mr. Biden mentioned the U.S. would proceed the strikes, although thus far they haven’t stopped the Houthis from persevering with to harass business and army vessels.

“When you say working, are they stopping the Houthis, no. Are they going to continue, yes,” Mr. Biden said in an exchange with reporters before departing the White House for a domestic policy speech in North Carolina.

Hours after Mr. Biden spoke, Houthi Brigadier General Yahya Saree said in a prerecorded statement that its forces had carried out another missile attack against the Marshall Islands-flagged, U.S.-owned cargo ship Chem Ranger. Mr. Saree said the attack took place in the Gulf of Aden, the waters just south of Yemen.

That attack did not affect the ship, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

“The crew observed the missiles impact the water near the ship,” there were no reported injuries or damage and the ship continued on its way, Central Command said.

The continued harassment of the ships has driven the U.S. and international partners to take extraordinary steps to defend them through a joint mission named Operation Prosperity Guardian, in which the consortium is trying to create a protective umbrella for the vessels by intercepting any missiles or drones that target them. It has also led the U.S. and British militaries to take measures to knock out missile sites, radars and air defense systems to try to tamp down the Houthis’ ability to attack.

On January 17 the U.S. military fired another wave of ship- and submarine-launch missile strikes against 14 Houthi-controlled sites. That same day, the administration put the Houthis back on its list of specially designated global terrorists. The sanctions that come with the formal designation are meant to sever violent extremist groups from their sources of financing, while also allowing vital humanitarian aid to continue flowing to impoverished Yemenis.

“These strikes will continue for as long as they need to continue,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby mentioned, including, “I’m not going to telegraph punches one way or another.”

Despite sanctions and army strikes, together with a large-scale operation carried out Friday by U.S. and British warships and warplanes that hit greater than 60 targets throughout Yemen, the Houthis hold harassing business and army ships. The U.S. has strongly warned Iran to stop offering weapons to the Houthis.

“We never said the Houthis would immediately stop,” the Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, Sabrina Singh, mentioned at a briefing, when requested why the strikes haven’t appeared to cease the Houthis. Since the joint U.S. and British operation received underway final Friday, hitting 28 areas and struck greater than 60 targets in that preliminary spherical, the Houthis’ assaults have been “lower scale,” Singh mentioned.

For months, the Houthis have claimed assaults on ships within the Red Sea that they are saying are both linked to Israel or heading to Israeli ports. They say their assaults intention to finish the Israeli air-and-ground offensive within the Gaza Strip that was triggered by the Palestinian militant group Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault in southern Israel. But the hyperlinks to the ships focused within the insurgent assaults have grown extra tenuous because the assaults proceed.

The assaults have additionally raised questions as as to whether the battle between Israel and Hamas has already expanded right into a wider regional conflict.

“We don’t seek war, we don’t think we are at war. We don’t want to see a regional war,” Mr. Singh mentioned.

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