U.S. military jets scrambled Friday to destroy Houthi missile launchers threatening to fire upon commercial shipping in the Red Sea near Yemen, the Associated Press reported, citing U.S. officials.
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement that the strikes against Houthi forces in the area were defensive and would make the waterways safe for international shipping and U.S. Navy vessels.
U.S. CENTCOM Destroys Three Houthi Terrorists' Anti-Ship Missiles
As part of ongoing efforts to protect freedom of navigation and prevent attacks on maritime vessels, U.S. Navy ships are present in the Red Sea. On Jan. 19 at approximately 6:45 p.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Central… pic.twitter.com/vPYUaIvvA5
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) January 19, 2024
Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet jets launched from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier performed the latest airstrike on Houthi targets. Two officials told the AP they successfully destroyed Houthi anti-ship missile launchers in the attack.
“U.S. Central Command forces conducted strikes against three Houthi anti-ship missiles that were aimed into the Southern Red Sea and were prepared to launch,” Centcom said. “U.S. forces identified the missiles in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined that they presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and the U.S. Navy ships in the region.”
“U.S. forces subsequently struck and destroyed the missiles in self-defense. This action will make international waters safe and secure for U.S. navy vessels and merchant vessels,” added CENTCOM in a statement posted to X, formerly Twitter.
The airstrikes on Friday are the fifth set of attacks carried out by the U.S. military acting alone against Houthi forces since the joint U.S. and U.K. strikes on Houthi targets associated with attacks on civilian boats in the Red Sea.
The White House redesignated the Houthi militant group as a terrorist organization this month after months of attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea. President Joe Biden said on Thursday more airstrikes would be necessary, “Are they stopping the Houthis? No. Are they going to continue? Yes.”
.@reaganreese_ : " President Biden admitted yesterday that the retaliatory strikes against the Houthis aren't working, why aren't they afraid of the US?"
KIRBY: "Well you have to ask the Houthis what's in their mindset" pic.twitter.com/4O8puEQSPt
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 19, 2024
The Houthis have embraced open confrontation with the U.S. since their redesignation as a terrorist group and five unilateral airstrikes by the U.S. military. The Iran-backed anti-government group in Yemen launched two anti-ship missiles at a U.S. tanker within hours of the most recent airstrikes. They say their attacks are in response to U.S. support for Israel in Gaza.