Sgt Lee Goddard/UK MOD/Handout via REUTERS
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U.S. and Britain launch airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen, escalating regional tensions

Responding to Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea, the United States and Britain carried out airstrikes from the air and sea against Houthi military targets in Yemen. This development marks a significant regional escalation, expanding the fallout from the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

President Joe Biden emphasised the purpose of the targetted strikes, stating, “These targetted strikes are a clear message that the United States and our partners will not tolerate attacks on our personnel or allow hostile actors to imperil freedom of navigation.”

Britain’s Ministry of Defence indicated that the strikes have dealt a blow to the Houthis’ ability to threaten merchant shipping. However, Iran, a supporter of the Houthis, strongly condemned the attacks, and the Houthis vowed to continue targeting ships heading towards Israel.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, despite being in the hospital, explained that the strikes were aimed at Houthi capabilities, including drones, ballistic and cruise missiles, coastal radar, and air surveillance.


Houthi officials denounced the strikes as “American-Zionist-British aggression,” confirming raids in several Yemeni locations. Witnesses reported airstrikes targeting military bases, a naval base, and other military sites.

The U.S. sought international support, with Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands reportedly backing the operation. The strikes, the first on Yemeni territory since 2016, are part of an effort to restore the free flow of trade on a key route between Europe and Asia.

Despite asserting no intent to escalate tensions, concerns loom over potential escalation, drawing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates into the confrontation. Saudi Arabia, in response to the strikes, called for restraint and “avoiding escalation.”

In accusing Iran of operational involvement in Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, the United States claimed that Iran provided military capabilities and intelligence for these actions.


The strikes involved aircraft, ships, and submarines, targeting more than a dozen locations to weaken the Houthis’ military capabilities. The Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping routes, disrupting international commerce, have raised fears of global inflation due to increased delivery costs.

Prominent Republicans in Congress welcomed the strikes, viewing them as a step toward restoring deterrence in the Red Sea. However, some Democrats expressed concerns about potential entanglement in another protracted conflict.

Biden concluded his statement, saying, “The response of the international community to these reckless attacks has been united and resolute.”

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