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Escalation in Yemen: U.S. Launches Fourth Wave of Strikes on Houthi-Controlled Sites

January 18, 2024
Escalation in Yemen

In a continued effort to counter Houthi aggression in Yemen, the U.S. military executed another round of ship- and submarine-launched missile strikes on Wednesday. This marks the fourth consecutive day that the United States has directly targeted Houthi-controlled sites, escalating tensions in the region.

Multiple U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, revealed that the strikes originated from the Red Sea, successfully hitting over a dozen sites. The decision to intensify military action follows the formal announcement on Wednesday that the Houthis have been placed back on the U.S. list of specially designated global terrorists.

The move triggers sanctions aimed at severing violent extremist groups from their sources of financing. Houthi-run al-Masirah TV reported on the messaging app Telegram that the strikes targeted various governorates, including Dhamar, Hodieda, Taiz, al-Bayda, and Saada.

Despite the sanctions and a large-scale joint operation by U.S. and British forces on Friday, which targeted more than 60 locations across Yemen, the Houthis persist in their harassment campaign against commercial and military ships. The most recent incident occurred on Wednesday when a one-way attack drone, launched from a Houthi-controlled area in Yemen, struck the Marshall Islands-flagged, U.S.-owned, and -operated M/V Genco Picardy in the Gulf of Aden.

In addition to military strikes, the U.S. has issued stern warnings to Iran, urging the nation to cease providing weapons to the Houthis. In a Thursday raid, U.S. forces intercepted ballistic missile parts en route to Yemen, allegedly shipped by Iran. During the operation, two U.S. Navy SEALs went missing, one knocked off the vessel by a wave, and the other following suit in an attempt to rescue their comrade.

Pentagon press secretary Major General Pat Ryder affirmed the U.S.’s commitment to taking military action to prevent further attacks. Ryder stated, “They are exploiting this situation to conduct attacks against the ships and vessels from more than 50 countries… around the world. And so we’re going to continue to work with our partners in the region to prevent those attacks or deter those attacks in the future.”

Since the joint operations on Friday, there have been multiple incidents. The Houthis launched an anti-ship cruise missile at a U.S. Navy destroyer, which was successfully intercepted over the weekend. Subsequent attacks targeted a U.S.-owned ship in the Gulf of Aden on Monday and a Malta-flagged bulk carrier in the Red Sea on Tuesday. In response, the U.S. struck four anti-ship ballistic missiles that posed an imminent threat to merchant and U.S. Navy ships in the region.

Despite the escalating tensions and exchange of hostilities, the international community watches closely, hoping for a diplomatic resolution to quell the rising turmoil in Yemen.

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Ditible Staff

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