US, UK jointly launch airstrikes targeting Houthi locations

In response to weeks of disruptive attacks on Red Sea shipping by Yemeni Houthi forces, the United States and the United Kingdom jointly launched on Friday, January 12, military strikes against the forces’ sites in Yemen.

According to the Houthi-owned Al-Masirah TV channel, the strikes targeted an airbase, airports and a military camp in the country.

US President Joe Biden called the US and British strikes a “defensive action” after the Red Sea attacks and said he “will not hesitate” to order further military action if needed, media outlets reported.

The strikes involved fighter jets and Tomahawk missiles, several US media outlets said. Sixty targets at 16 Houthi locations were hit by more than 100 precision-guided munitions, it said.

Critics express concerns about the delicate balance of power in the region and fear unintended consequences that could complicate efforts to achieve a diplomatic resolution.

The Houthis said there was “no justification” for the air strikes and warned that attacks on Israel-linked shipping would continue.

Russia on Friday condemned the strikes by the United States and Britain as an “escalation” with “destructive objectives.” China also called Friday for all sides to prevent the Yemen conflict from expanding.

The intensifying attacks by the Houthis have caused shipping companies to bypass the route and instead divert around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, sparking fears of a shock to the global economy.

Yemen is currently the worst humanitarian crisis due to the ongoing war. In 2023, a staggering 21.6 million people require some form of humanitarian assistance as 80 percent of the country struggles to put food on the table and access basic services. 

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