US conducts five strikes in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen | World News - Hindustan Times
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US conducts five strikes in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen

ANI |
Feb 19, 2024 04:15 AM IST

Amid escalating tensions in Red Sea, the United States conducted five strikes in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on Sunday, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

Amid escalating tensions in the Red Sea, the United States conducted five strikes in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on Sunday, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

US conducts five strikes in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen(REUTERS/Representational image)
US conducts five strikes in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen(REUTERS/Representational image)

It said it struck three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, one unmanned surface vessel, and one unmanned underwater vessel (UUV) on Saturday. The strikes were carried out between 3 pm and 8 pm (local time).

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According to the US, the Houthi vessels presented an "imminent threat" to US Navy ships and these actions will protect freedom of navigation in the region.

Notably, this is the first reported use of an unmanned underwater vessel by Houthis since the attacks began last October, as per US Central Command.

Taking to social media platform X, CENTCOM stated, "Between the hours of 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Sanaa time), Feb. 17, CENTCOM successfully conducted five self-defense strikes against three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, one unmanned underwater vessel (UUV), and one unmanned surface vessel (USV) in Iranian-backed Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. This is the first observed Houthi employment of a UUV since attacks began in Oct. 23."

"CENTCOM identified the anti-ship cruise missiles, unmanned underwater vessel, and the unmanned surface vessel in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined they presented an imminent threat to US Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region. These actions will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy and merchant vessels," it added.

However, there has been no immediate comment from the Iran-aligned Houthi group.

The strikes come amid heightened tensions in the region, where Houthi fighters have carried out attacks on commercial and military shipping since November.

The Houthis initially said that they would target Israel-linked ships in a show of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, but later expanded their targets to include vessels linked to the United Kingdom and the US, Al Jazeera reported.

The US and the UK have responded by hitting Houthi targets in Yemen multiple times, characterising the Houthi attacks as indiscriminate and a threat to global trade.

Earlier on Saturday, the Houthis claimed responsibility for a missile attack on a British oil tanker that the US identified as a Panamanian-flagged vessel carrying crude oil bound for India.

Faced with mounting Red Sea insecurity, major shipping lines have largely abandoned the critical trade route for longer routes around Africa. This has increased costs, feeding worries about global inflation while sapping Egypt of crucial foreign revenue from shippers using the Suez Canal to or from the Red Sea, as reported by Al Jazeera.

"While we continue to hope for a sustainable resolution in the near future and do all we can to contribute towards it, we do encourage customers to prepare for complications in the area to persist and for there to be significant disruption to the global network," shipping giant Maersk said in January.

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