West steps up strikes on Houthis in Yemen

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At approximately 11:59 p.m. local time, U.S. and U.K. ships and warplanes took “proportionate and necessary strikes” against eight Houthi targets in Yemen, including an underground weapons storage site, missile systems and launchers, and air defense and surveillance capabilities, according to a joint statement.   


Some of the eight locations included multiple targets, with the strike destroying missiles, drones and weapons storage areas, a senior military official later told reporters. 


“At this point we do assess that the strike was successful and achieved the desired effect of removing these capabilities from the Houthis,” they said. 


The bombings — supported by U.S. allies Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands — mark an increase in action against the Iran-backed group, who have vowed to continue attacks on ships in the Red Sea in protest of Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip. 


The U.S. last paired with the U.K. on preemptive strikes against the Houthis on Jan. 11, after the group disregarded multiple warnings by Western nations to stop continued drone and missile attacks on commercial vessels in the waterway.   


The group has attacked at least 33 such ships since Nov. 19 – including several American-flagged vessels – prompting more than 14 shipping companies to cease operations in the Red Sea, disrupting international shipping. 


This most recent U.S. strike is smaller than the one earlier this month – with the first American and British bombings hitting more than 60 targets across 30 sites in Yemen – but it signals that Washington will maintain an open-ended campaign against the Houthis. 


Read the full report at TheHill.com.

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