(DailyVantage.com) – The Houthi rebels in Yemen have continued to escalate their armed offensives in the region, as the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reported conducting strikes that destroyed two missiles that the Iran-backed militia intended to launch at cargo ships traversing the Southern Red Sea.
The U.S. called the strikes “self-defense” after the military became aware of the missiles and deemed that they “presented an imminent threat” both to U.S. naval vessels as well as private and commercial ships in the area.
The armed militia, believed to be supported by Iran, has been a bane to ships passing through the region. The Houthi rebels have been targeting passing ships in what they say is retaliation for Israel’s continued armed offensive against Hamas in the Gaza strip. Like the Houthi, Hamas is also believed to have received support from Iran. The armed attacks against seafaring vessels have caused significant disruptions in trade and commerce that pass through the region.
The U.S. Navy, through the USS Gravely, also recently shot down more missiles fired by the Houthis at the M/V Maersk Detroit, a U.S.-flagged and owned container ship. Two of the missiles were successfully shot down by the Navy, while a third fell into the sea. The container ship did not sustain any damage, and no crew members were injured in the attack.
Military forces from the U.S. and the U.K. also initiated their own strikes against the Houthi, targeting eight locations in Yemen believed to house missile systems and launchers, radar, as well as weapons and ammunition depots. The “proportionate and necessary strikes” involved the use of both sea vessels and aircraft and were considered a success, according to senior military officials.
A joint statement issued by both countries warned the Houthi that neither the U.S. nor the U.K. would tolerate threats to the “free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways,” also saying that their military would not think twice about taking steps to defend themselves.
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