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US launches new airstrikes against Houthis in Yemen targeting ‘anti-ship missiles’

New strikes further raise tension in Red Sea amid fallout from Israeli war in Gaza

Richard Hall
Wednesday 17 January 2024 11:09 GMT
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U.S., Britain launch new airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen

The US military carried out further airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen on Tuesday, targeting what it characterised as anti-ship ballistic missiles.

The action followed dozens of strikes against the Iran-backed rebels across Yemen in recent days as the US and UK seek to halt attacks by the group on cargo ships in the Red Sea, which were launched in response to Israel’s war in Gaza.

Two US officials told Reuters that Tuesday’s strikes were targeted at four anti-ship missiles.

The US and UK airstrikes began on Friday, when more than 60 targets in 25 locations were hit. On Saturday, the Pentagon said a Tomahawk missile fired from the Navy destroyer USS Carney hit a Houthi radar site.

The strikes come as the Pentagon announced on Tuesday that two US Navy SEALs were lost at sea in a mission targeting Iranian weapons deliveries to the Houthis.

The night-time mission ended with the seizure of a small sailing boat that was transporting “advanced lethal aid” to the Houthis as part of the group’s “campaign of attacks against international merchant shipping,” the Pentagon said in a statement on Tuesday.

The SEALs had been reported missing in the days following the mission, which took place on 11 January, but its purpose had not been revealed. The two SEALs were still missing as of Tuesday morning.

“We are conducting an exhaustive search for our missing teammates,” said General Michael Erik Kurilla, USCENTCOM commander.

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