March 4, 2024

The United States of America, on Friday, launched a second attack against the Houthi forces in Yemen following President Joe Biden’s administration’s pledge to safeguard Red Sea cargo.

One day after several American and British strikes on the structures of the Iran-backed militia, the United States announced that the most recent strike targeted a radar facility.

The U.S. Central Command, in a statement released on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, said the guided missile destroyer Carney used Tomahawk missiles in the follow-on strike which occurred in the early hours of Saturday “to degrade the Houthis’ ability to attack maritime vessels, including commercial vessels.”

According to reports on the Houthi movement’s television programme Al-Masirah, assaults on the Yemeni capital of Sanaa were being carried out by the United States and Britain.

The organisation, which has framed its maritime campaign as support for Palestinians under Israeli blockade in Hamas-ruled Gaza, was targeted by missiles fired on Thursday by American and British jets, ships, and submarines, heightening fears of a regional battle that was getting wider.

Biden threatened to launch further strikes on Friday if the Houthi commanders did not cease their attacks on military and commercial boats in one of the most strategically important waterways in the world, despite Houthi’s threats of retribution.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Biden said, “We will make sure that we respond to the Houthis if they continue this outrageous behaviour.”

Witnesses verified explosions early on Friday at military installations close to airports in Taiz, the country’s third city, and Sanaa, the country’s capital; also at a navy facility in Hodeidah, Yemen’s primary Red Sea port, and at military locations in the coastal governorate of Hajjah

According to John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House, the initial attacks were directed against the Houthis’ capacity to fire, store, and guide missiles or drones—a capability that the organisation has recently utilised to endanger ships in the Red Sea.

According to the Pentagon, the Houthis’ ability to launch further strikes was diminished by the American-British assault. The US military reported hitting 60 targets across 28 locations.

Although the Houthis, who rule much of Yemen’s west and north, including Sanaa, claimed five fighters were killed, they pledged to keep attacking regional shipping.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations information hub reported that it had heard of allegations of a missile from a ship landing in the water around 500 metres (1,600 feet) southeast of the Yemeni port of Aden.

Ambrey, a marine security company, recognised it as a Russian oil tanker flying the Panamanian flag.

A member of the Houthi Supreme Political Council, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, said, “Your strikes on Yemen are terrorism. The United States is the Devil.”

When questioned by reporters on whether he believed the movement was still classified as “terrorist,” Biden—whose administration had removed the Houthis from a State Department list of “foreign terrorist organisations” in 2021— responded, “I think they are.”

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