Airstrikes Pound Sites in Al-Hudaydah as Houthis, U.S. Keep Exchanging Attacks
The U.S. forces launched early today a fresh string of airstrikes on Houthi-controlled sites in Al-Hudaydah as part of the American campaign to degrade the group's missile and drone capabilities.
The U.S. Central Command said in a statement, "On Feb. 1 at approximately 1:30 a.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Central Command forces conducted strikes against an Iranian-backed Houthi UAV ground control station and 10 Houthi one-way UAVs."
The strikes came hours after the Houthis launched a missile attack on the destroyer USS Gravely in the Red Sea.
Houthi-run media confirmed that strikes by the "American-British aggression" hit the Al-Jabanah area to the north of Al-Hudaydah city.
On January 23, the U.S. and British forces bombed multiple targets in diverse Houthi-controlled provinces, destroying missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, radars, and weapons storage facilities.
Al-Hudaydah is the first center from which Houthis launch attacks on shipping lanes in the Red Sea, a Sheba Intelligence report revealed last month.
According to the report, the Red Sea coast and islands, particularly ports of Al-Hudaydah, Al-Salif, Ras Issa, Al-Luhayah, and Kamaran Island, in the Houthi-controlled Al-Hudaydah, remain the first launch center from which ships are attacked.
On January 15, military sources told Sheba Intelligence that the Houthi group is preparing for a long and complex war with the American-British coalition, employing various defensive and preventive measures.
The measures included transferring ballistic missile systems from areas north of Al-Hudaydah to the Al-Katheeb coast. According to the sources, air defense systems were also transferred from their hideouts in the mountains in Hajjah to areas close to the coast.
Today, the U.S. Central Command said the guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely has shot down an anti-ship cruise missile fired by Iranian-backed Houthi militants.
On Monday, the Houthis said they launched an attack on the U.S. warship Lewis B. Puller in the Gulf of Aden. However, American officials denied such a claim.
Oman has been trying to convince the Houthis to de-escalate their operations in the Red Sea. Informed sources told Sheba Intelligence that the Omani-Qatari mediation has attempted to reduce the escalation in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden between international forces and the Houthi group.
Diplomatic efforts so far have failed to dissuade the group from continuing attacks on ships in the Red Sea. The Houthi group says it will end its assaults when the Israeli war on Palestinians in Gaza stops.
The Houthi group has accused the U.S. and U.K. of planning to provide aerial support to Yemeni forces to carry out ground military operations in Houthi-controlled territories.
Houthi officials said these two Western countries seek to push "mercenaries, including Saudi-UAE-backed Yemeni forces," to launch ground attacks on Houthi-controlled territories.
While the U.S. airstrikes continue to bomb Houthi sites, Yemeni government officials say airstrikes without ground operations are ineffective.
On Saturday, Rashad al-Alimi, head of the Saudi-backed Presidential Leadership Council (PLC), the UN-recognized authority in Yemen, said defensive operations against the Houthi attacks are not the solution.
According to Al-Alimi, the solution is to "eliminate" the Houthis' military capabilities through ground operations with American-Saudi support.