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US and UK Launch Strikes Against Houthi Rebels in Yemen

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On January 12, 2024, the United States and the United Kingdom launched a massive retaliatory strike against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. This action came in response to the Houthis’ attacks on Red Sea shipping routes, which have disrupted international commerce on the critical waterway between Europe and Asia. The strikes were conducted using warship- and submarine-launched Tomahawk missiles and fighter aircraft.

Targets of the Strikes

The US and UK forces targeted over 60 sites in Yemen, including command-and-control nodes, munitions depots, and other facilities used by the Houthis. Some of the specific locations hit were:

  • Al-Dailami Air Base north of Sanaa
  • Hodeida Airport
  • Saada Camp
  • Taiz Airport
  • Hajjah Airport

British Involvement

Four British Typhoon jet fighters targeted a Houthi drone base in northwestern Yemen and an airfield used to launch cruise missiles over the Red Sea. The UK forces joined the US-led coalition, which also included Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands.

Houthi Rebels’ Response

The Houthis, who control most of Yemen, have been targeting Red Sea shipping routes to show their support for Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist group. They have carried out 27 attacks involving dozens of drones and missiles since November 19. A high-ranking Houthi official, Ali al-Qahoum, vowed that there would be retaliation for the strikes, stating that the battle would be bigger and beyond the imagination and expectation of the Americans and the British.

International Reaction

The US military said that the strikes were intended to reduce the Houthis’ campaign, which the Iran-backed rebel group launched in response to Israel’s war on the Hamas militant group. However, Russia requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the strikes, and France, the current council president, agreed to hold the meeting.

Conclusion

The US and UK strikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen mark a significant escalation in the conflict between the two countries and the Iran-backed rebel group. While the strikes aim to reduce the Houthis’ campaign, the group has vowed to retaliate, potentially leading to a larger and more complex conflict in the region. The international community, through the UN Security Council, is closely monitoring the situation and its potential implications for regional stability.

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