U.S. Military Strikes Houthi-Controlled Targets in Yemen Amid Rising Threats to Red Sea Shipping

On Thursday, the U.S. military destroyed a ground control station and 10 drones in Yemen’s Houthi-controlled areas. This operation is part of ongoing efforts to counter Houthi attacks on commercial and Navy ships in the Red Sea. The strikes were conducted in self-defense as the targeted assets posed an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region, according to a statement from U.S. Central Command. The action aims to safeguard freedom of navigation and enhance the safety of international waters for U.S. Navy and merchant vessels.

Later the same day, Central Command reported thwarting a Houthi drone over the Gulf of Aden and intercepting an explosive sea drone heading towards the international shipping lane in the Red Sea. Two Houthi missiles, seemingly targeting a cargo ship, missed their mark and fell into the water, as per CENTCOM’s social media posting.

The Houthis initiated a missile and drone campaign on Red Sea shipping lanes in mid-November, causing cargo vessels to seek alternative routes and increasing shipping costs. The Houthis claim that their attacks express solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, responding to the Israeli military actions following the October 7 Hamas assaults.

Since January 11, the U.S. and U.K. have jointly conducted attacks on Houthi military targets, following the group’s disregard of multiple warnings. Despite these actions, the rebels persist in their activities. Recent incidents include the destruction of a ready-to-launch Houthi missile and another that was fired, along with intercepting a projectile aimed at a U.S. warship. CNN reported that one missile came within a mile of the USS Gravely.