Updated January 13th, 2024 at 08:12 IST

US Conducts Fresh Attacks Against Houthis in Yemen, Officials Confirm

Amid the brewing tensions in the Red Sea, US officials confirmed that the country's military is carrying out additional strikes against Houthis in Yemen.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
US military forces opened fire on Houthi rebels after they attacked a cargo ship in the Red Sea. | Image:AP / File Photo
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Washington - Amid the brewing tensions in the Red Sea, US officials confirmed that the country's military is carrying out additional strikes against Houthis in Yemen. The reports of Fresh strikes came a day after the United States and the United Kingdom launched strikes against multiple military targets of the Yemeni militant group - the Houthis. According to The Times of Israel, the US official confirmed that the fresh strikes took place on Saturday and did not give further details on the matter. 

While speaking to The Associated Press, two US officials confirmed the strikes and discussed that operating hadn't been made public as of now. The officials who spoke on the request to remain anonymous confirmed that the Saturday strikes targeted multiple Houthi-controlled sites in Yemen, including the capital of the Middle Eastern Nation, Sana'a. The strikes came hours after US President Joe Biden warned that the United States would continue conducting such attacks if Houthis kept on with their “outrageous behaviour”. 

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While attending an event in Emmaus, Pennsylvania on Friday afternoon, the US President was asked if such strikes would continue in the region. “The bombing of the Houthis — if the attacks don't stop, will you continue with the strikes?” the reporter asked the 81-year-old US President. “We will make sure that we respond to the Houthis as they continue this outrageous behaviour, along with our allies,” he added. When asked if the White House would “re-designate” Houthis as a terrorist group, Biden confirmed that the Yemeni militant group is a “terrorist organisation”. However, it is important to note that the Biden administration removed the terrorist designation on Houthis in 2021. 

Houthis will keep attacking vessels in the Red Sea 

Amid all the warnings and series of attacks, the Iran-backed rebel group vowed to continue attacking ships in the Red Sea on Friday.  While speaking to local reporters Houthi military spokesperson said that at least five people lost their lives in the attack and pledged to give a solid response to these strikes. According to CBS News, the group claimed that the attacks on the vessels were aimed at preventing the "transit of Israeli ships or those carrying goods to the occupied Palestinian ports," and said they would carry on "whatever the cost." Meanwhile, Biden wrote a letter to Congress defending its decision to bypass the body and take the measure. The letter was addressed to US House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate President Patty Murry. The letter came to light as the US President faced bipartisan condemnation for bypassing the body and taking such a big measure. “I directed this military action consistent with my responsibility to protect US citizens both at home and abroad and in furtherance of US national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority as commander in chief and chief executive and to conduct US foreign relations,” the US President wrote in the letter. “The US took this necessary and proportionate action consistent with international law and in the exercise of the US’ inherent right of self-defence as reflected in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The US stands ready to take further action, as necessary and appropriate, to address further threats or attacks,” he added. Biden insisted that he is writing this letter to Congress to keep the “governmental institution “fully informed” on the matter. “I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action,” Biden averred. 

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Published January 13th, 2024 at 07:30 IST