The United States and Britain carried out large-scale military strikes on Saturday against multiple sites in Yemen controlled by Houthi militants, according to a statement from the two countries and six allies, as the Biden administration continued its reprisal campaign in the Middle East targeting Iran-backed militias.
The attacks against 36 Houthi targets at 13 sites in northern Yemen came barely 24 hours after the United States carried out a series of military strikes against Iranian forces and the militias they support at seven sites in Syria and Iraq.
American and British warplanes, as well as Navy Tomahawk cruise missiles, hit deeply buried weapons storage facilities; missile systems and launchers; air defense systems; and radars in Yemen, the statement said. Australia, Bahrain, Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand provided support, which officials said included intelligence and logistics assistance.
“These precision strikes are intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities that the Houthis use to threaten global trade and the lives of innocent mariners, and are in response to a series of illegal, dangerous and destabilizing Houthi actions since previous coalition strikes,” the statement said, referring to major attacks by the United States and Britain last month.
The attacks were the second-largest salvo since the allies first struck Houthi targets on Jan. 11. They came after a week in which the Houthis had been particularly defiant, launching several attack drones and cruise and ballistic missiles at merchant vessels and U.S. Navy warships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
The American-led air and naval strikes began last month in response to dozens of Houthi drone and missile attacks against commercial shipping in the Red Sea since November. The Houthis claim their attacks are in protest of Israel’s military campaign against Hamas in Gaza.