Updated February 4th, 2024 at 14:35 IST

US and UK Launch Third Round of Strikes Against Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen

The decision to carry out the third round of strikes was made a week ago, prompted by a Houthi missile hitting a British ship.

Reported by: Sagar Kar
Representative image | Image:AP
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In a continued effort to disrupt the capabilities of Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, the U.S. and U.K. conducted a new wave of airstrikes on Saturday. This marks the third round of joint strikes against Houthi targets since the initial operation on January 11.

Supported by Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, the strikes aimed to "disrupt and degrade the capabilities" of the rebels to prevent their "reckless and destabilizing attacks" in the Red Sea, as stated by the Pentagon.

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Here is what you need to know

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed that the strikes targeted 13 locations associated with the Houthis' missile systems, launchers, air defense systems, radars, and, notably, underground bunkers used to store weapons.

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"This collective action sends a clear message to the Houthis that they will continue to bear further consequences if they do not end their illegal attacks on international shipping and naval vessels," said Defense Secretary Austin, as per a report from Axios. He emphasized the commitment to defending lives and ensuring the free flow of commerce in critical waterways.

What provoked these strikes?

The decision to carry out the third round of strikes was made a week ago, prompted by a Houthi missile hitting a British ship. However, the planning of the new strikes took several days.

The Houthis have been responsible for numerous attacks on commercial and military vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November. They claim these actions are in protest of the Israeli military's operations in Gaza, initiated after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

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This latest round of strikes follows Friday's retaliatory actions by the U.S. against 85 targets linked to Iran or Iranian proxies in Syria and Iraq, responding to a deadly attack on U.S. forces in Jordan. U.S. officials, including President Biden, have warned that such retaliatory strikes may extend beyond a single day or location.

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Published February 4th, 2024 at 14:35 IST