American and British forces struck multiple sites in Yemen Saturday in the second phase of a military campaign against Iran-backed military organizations.
Saturday’s strikes followed attacks Friday by the U.S. against targets in Syria and Iraq that were linked to Iran-supported militia groups and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Friday’s attacks were in response to the deaths of three American service members in Jordan.
U.S. F/A-18 fighter jets from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier and Red Sea-based ships firing Tomahawk missiles participated in the attacks, U.S. officials said, according to the Associated Press.
The destroyers USS Gravely and the USS Carney each launched missiles, officials said.
“As part of ongoing international efforts to respond to increased Iranian-backed Houthi destabilizing and illegal activities in the region, on Feb. 3 at approximately 11:30 p.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Central Command forces, alongside UK Armed Forces and with the support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand conducted strikes against 36 Houthi targets at 13 locations in Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist-controlled areas of Yemen,” U.S. Central Command posted on X.
“These multilateral coalition strikes focused on targets in Houthi-controlled Yemen used to attack international merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region. These Iranian-backed Houthi targets included multiple underground storage facilities, command and control, missile systems, UAV storage and operations sites, radars, and helicopters,” Central Command wrote.
“These strikes are intended to degrade Houthi capabilities used to continue their reckless and unlawful attacks on U.S. and U.K. ships as well as international commercial shipping in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden. These strikes are separate and distinct from the multinational freedom of navigation actions performed under Operation Prosperity Guardian,” Central Command wrote.
U.S. Forces, Allies Conduct Joint Strikes in Yemen
As part of ongoing international efforts to respond to increased Iranian-backed Houthi destabilizing and illegal activities in the region, on Feb. 3 at approximately 11:30 p.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Central Command forces,… pic.twitter.com/hlfLY1QjOd
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) February 3, 2024
“This collective action sends a clear message to the Houthis that they will continue to bear further consequences if they do not end their illegal attacks on international shipping and naval vessels,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.
Austin said Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and New Zealand supported the effort.
“These strikes are intended to further disrupt and degrade the capabilities of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia to conduct their reckless and destabilizing attacks against U.S. and international vessels lawfully transiting the Red Sea,” he said.
“Coalition forces targeted 13 locations associated with the Houthis’ deeply buried weapons storage facilities, missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, and radars,” he said.
In the morning, the Carney shot down a drone over the Gulf of Aden. In the afternoon, American forces attacked four sites that were preparing to launch drones.
On Friday evening, the USS Laboon and F/A-18s from the Eisenhower downed seven drones. Central Command noted in a Saturday post on X that it attacked Houthi sites to prevent the launch of six anti-ship cruise missiles.
The Houthis will “meet escalation with escalation,” Houthi leader Mohammed Al-Bukhaiti said after the attacks, according to NBC.
“Our military operations against the Zionist entity will continue until the aggression against Gaza stops, no matter what sacrifices it costs us,” Al-Bukhaiti said “We will meet escalation with escalation, and victory comes only from God.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.