US destroys Houthi missiles, drones in new Yemen strike

AFP , Tuesday 19 Mar 2024

The US military said it destroyed seven missiles and three drones late Monday in areas of Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels that presented threats to merchant ships and US Navy vessels.

Missiles of Houthi
File Photo: Missiles of Houthi forces during a military parade in Sanaa, Yemen, on September 21. AFP


Iran-backed Houthis have been attacking ships in the Red Sea region since November in what they say is solidarity with Palestinians during Israel's war against Hamas militants in Gaza.

The United States Central Command forces operated "in self-defense" when they engaged and destroyed the anti-ship missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as three weapons storage containers in Houthi-controlled areas, CENTCOM said in a statement posted on X, the former Twitter.

"It was determined these weapons presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and US Navy ships in the region. These actions are taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for US Navy and merchant vessels," CENTCOM said.

The Houthi attacks have sent insurance costs spiraling for vessels plying the key Red Sea trade route and prompted many shipping firms to take the far longer passage around the southern tip of Africa instead.

The United States and Britain have launched repeated strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen in response but the attacks against what the rebels say are Israeli-linked ships have not been deterred.

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