Photo: Mohammed Huwais Agence France-Presse Armed fighters from Yemen's Houthi rebels during a rally in solidarity with Palestinian Hamas in Sanaa on January 29.
France Media Agency in Washington
- Middle East
The United States and the United Kingdom announced they bombed dozens of targets in Yemen on Saturday, in response to repeated attacks by Iran-backed Houthi rebels on shipping.< /p>
These joint air raids in Yemen come the day after a series of US strikes against elite Iranian forces and pro-Iranian armed groups in Syria and Iraq, in response to the deaths of three American soldiers in Jordan on January 28.
Saturday's strikes targeted “36 Houthi targets in 13 locations in Yemen in response to continued Houthi attacks on international and commercial maritime traffic and warships transiting the Red Sea,” a joint U.S. statement said , the United Kingdom and other countries that supported the operation.
“These precision strikes are intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities the Houthis use to threaten global trade and the lives of innocent sailors,” according to the statement.
The attack targeted “deeply buried arsenals, missile systems and launchers, air defense systems and radars of the Houthis,” the document added.
Earlier Saturday, the United States had already announced that it had carried out strikes in Yemen, targeting six Houthi anti-ship missiles “ready to be launched against ships in the Red Sea”.
The US military also destroyed eight drones off the coast of Yemen and four on the ground on Friday to “protect freedom of navigation” from Houthi attacks.
The Houthis began targeting maritime traffic in the Red Sea in November, saying they were targeting Israel-linked vessels “in solidarity” with Palestinians in Gaza, ravaged by the war between Israel and the Hamas.
US and UK forces responded with raids against the Houthis, who have since also designated US and UK interests as legitimate targets.
In addition to strikes against the Houthis, the United States has created a multinational naval force intended to protect maritime traffic in the region, which accounts for some 12 percent of global traffic.
Anger over Israel's devastating campaign in Gaza, which began after an unprecedented deadly Hamas attack on October 7, continues to swell across the Middle East, sending violence soaring in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and in Yemen.
Last weekend, a drone struck a base in Jordan, killing three American soldiers and injuring more than 40. The attack was attributed by Washington to pro-Iran groups.
The United States responded Friday with retaliatory strikes against elite Iranian forces and pro-Iranian armed groups in Iraq and Syria, but did not strike Iranian territory.