University students march during a parade by students recruited to the ranks of the Houthis as part of a mobilization campaign they have initiated recently, at the campus of Sanaa University in Sanaa, Yemen February 21, 2024.

US Conducts Strikes Against Iran's Houthi Militia

Thursday, 02/22/2024

The US conducted a new wave of defensive strikes against Iran's Houthi militia in Yemen on Wednesday, targeting seven mobile anti-ship cruise missiles and one mobile anti-ship ballistic missile launcher.

The four strikes were conducted to safeguard merchant vessels and US Navy ships transiting the Red Sea amid the Yemeni militia's blockade of the Red Sea.

CENTCOM stated that “the missiles, launchers and UAS originating from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined that they presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and to the US Navy ships in the region.”

The Yemeni militia waged a blockade since November in the Red Sea and surrounding area, in solidarity with Hamas in Gaza following the worst Gaza war since the Iran-backed militia took over the strip. After Hamas's invasion of Israel on October 7, Israel has since launched a relentless bombardment in a bid to rid Gaza of Hamas.

In the wake of the war, Iran's proxies around the region have acted in allegiance with Hamas with attacks on both Israel and US targets due to the US support of Israel's right to defend itself. Joint operations between the US and UK have seen multiple sites attacked in Yemen and a global coalition formed to counter the Yemeni offensive. Last month, US Navy forces intercepted a vessel ferrying advanced weaponry from Iran to bolster the Houthis.

The US State Department condemned the ongoing Houthi aggression and blockade on Wednesday, labeling their actions as "reckless and indiscriminate attacks" on civilian ships, accusing the militia of hindering humanitarian aid deliveries and exacerbating crises in Yemen, Sudan, and Ethiopia. 

The US recently redesignated the Houthis as a result of the blockade and the dozens of attacks on global shipping, including the hijacking of the Galaxy Leader and its 25 crew in November.

“We and our partners will continue to take appropriate action, as needed, to protect freedom of navigation and commercial shipping from Houthi attacks in this critical international waterway and to safeguard vital economic and humanitarian assistance to countries in the region,” added the State Department in a statement.

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