US forces on Thursday conducted seven "self-defense" strikes against Houthi naval drones and cruise missiles that were prepared to be launched against ships in the Red Sea, the US military said.
"CENTCOM identified these missiles and USVs (unmanned surface vessels) in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined they presented an imminent threat to U.S. Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region," the US Central Command said in a statement on X.
Iran-backed Houthis began attacking commercial vessels and US warships in mud-November after the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called on Muslims to blockade Israel.
The Houthi campaign has disrupted international shipping, which uses the Red Sea and the Suez Canal to link Europe with Asia. The United States and Britain have recently launched strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen and returned the militia to a list of "terrorist groups."
Iranian armed proxy militias have been launching attacks on US forces also in Syria and Iraq since mid-October. After a few smaller retaliatory strikes, the United States launched a large air campaign on February 3, targeting dozens of bases belonging to militias controlled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.