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Red Sea Crisis

US and UK launch strikes against Houthis to protect global shipping

Photo: UK MOD X feed UK MOD Houthi targetted strikes
The US and UK have launched strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen to disrupt and degrade the capabilities of rebels to attack shipping in the Red Sea and protect global trade.

The US and UK, wiith support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, launched a series of targeted strikes strikes against military facilities used by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

“This action is intended to disrupt and degrade the Houthis' capabilities to endanger mariners and threaten global trade in one of the world's most critical waterways. Today's coalition action sends a clear message to the Houthis that they will bear further costs if they do not end their illegal attacks,” stated US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III.

The strikes targeted sites related to the Houthis' unmanned aerial vehicle, ballistic and cruise missile, and coastal radar and air surveillance capabilities.

Attacks by Houthi rebels have attacked over two vessels in the Red Sea region since 19 November as well as launching continued drone and missile offensives that have either been intercepted by allied forces or failed to reach their target. Despite claims by the Houthi to be targeting Israeli-linked vessels or those trading with Israel many of the attacks have appeared indiscriminate in nature.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Despite the repeated warnings from the international community, the Houthis have continued to carry out attacks in the Red Sea, including against UK and US warships just this week.”

On 9 January US and UK navies thwarted what was described as the largest attack by the Houthis in the Red Sea to date that saw 18 one-way attack UAVs, two anti-ship cruise missiles, and one anti-ship ballistic missile being shot down.

“This cannot stand. The United Kingdom will always stand up for freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade. We have therefore taken limited, necessary and proportionate action in self-defence, alongside the United States with non-operational support from the Netherlands, Canada and Bahrain against targets tied to these attacks, to degrade Houthi military capabilities and protect global shipping,” the UK PM stated.

The British military deployed our RAF Typhoon FGR4s, supported by a Voyager air refuelling tanker therefore used Paveway IV guided bombs to conduct precision strikes on two Houthi facilities.

One was a site at Bani in northwestern Yemen used to launch reconnaissance and attack drones and the other was an airfield shown by intelligence to launch both cruise missiles and drones over the Red Sea.

“The detailed results of the strikes are being assessed, but early indications are that the Houthis’ ability to threaten merchant shipping has taken a blow, and our commitment to protecting the sea-lanes, through which some 15% of the world’s shipping passes and which is vital to the global economy, has been amply demonstrated,” the UK Ministry of Defence said.