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Dhaka     Thursday   25 April 2024

US, UK launch fresh air strikes in Yemen

News Desk || risingbd.com

Published: 11:39, 25 February 2024  
US, UK launch fresh air strikes in Yemen

US and UK fighter planes have carried out strikes on 18 Houthi sites in Yemen - the fourth such joint operation by the allies, according to the Pentagon.

The US says Saturday’s strikes were directed against storage facilities, drones, air defence systems, radars and a helicopter of the militant movement.

The UK says the allies acted to “further degrade” Houthi capabilities.

There have been sustained attacks by the Iran-backed Houthis on shipping in the important Red Sea trade route.

The Houthis - who control large swathes of Yemen including the capital Sanaa - have been targeting vessels they say are linked to Israel and the West in response to the continuing Israel-Gaza war.

Global supply chains are now facing severe disruption and rising costs as a result of some of the biggest shipping companies diverting journeys away from the Red Sea - one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

In a joint statement, the Pentagon said that Saturday’s “necessary and proportionate strikes specifically targeted 18 Houthi targets across eight locations in Yemen associated with Houthi underground weapons storage facilities, missile storage facilities, one-way attack unmanned aerial systems, air defence systems, radars, and a helicopter.

“These precision strikes are intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities that the Houthis use to threaten global trade, naval vessels, and the lives of innocent mariners in one of the world’s most critical waterways.”

The statement said “the Houthis’ now more than 45 attacks on commercial and naval vessels since mid-November constitute a threat to the global economy, as well as regional security and stability, and demand an international response”.

The strikes were carried out “with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand”, the statement added.

Shortly afterwards, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin stressed that America “will not hesitate to take action, as needed, to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways”.

Separately, UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said “it is our duty to protect lives at sea and preserve freedom of navigation”.

“That is why the Royal Air Force engaged in a fourth wave of precision strikes against Houthi military targets in Yemen”.

The US military said earlier in the day that it had destroyed seven Houthi mobile anti-ship missiles that were being prepared for strikes.

Earlier this week, the crew of a Belize-flagged, British-registered cargo vessel have abandoned ship off Yemen after it was hit by missiles fired by the Houthis.

(With inputs from BBC)

Dhaka/AI