U.S. and U.K. Strike Six-Houthi-Controlled Provinces in Yemen

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-01-12 01:00 PM UTC



 American and British forces targeted military centers belonging to the Ansar Allah (Houthi) group in Yemen early Friday. The strikes hit over 15 military sites in six Houthi-controlled provinces. 


Field sources told Sheba Intelligence that the strikes targeted missile and drone launch centers, radar systems and mobilization camps in Sanaa, Al-Hudaydah, Sa'ada, Dhamar, Hajjah and Taiz.


The strikes marked the first U.S. military response to the Houthi attacks on shipping lanes, which began in November last year.


The sources said that the main targets in Sanaa were Sanaa Airport, Al-Dailami Air Base, and the Military College in Al-Rawda. Strikes also targeted sites near Al-Hudaydah Airport, Al-Salif Port, the Coastal Defense Brigades, and areas east of Al-Hudaydah. 


According to the sources, the strikes hit the Kahlan camp and military sites west of Dahyan in Saada province, which is the stronghold of the Houthi group. Moreover, sites in Dhamar province, Abs district, and other coastal areas of Hajjah province were targeted. The U.S. and U.K. strikes also hit a Houthi-controlled air defense camp in  Taiz.


The sources confirmed that the Houthis declared an emergency in Al-Hudaydah and began extensive movements of military equipment in preparation for launching a missile attack on international forces in the Red Sea. The sources also indicated that missile and drone experts were transferred from the border with Saudi Arabia to Al-Hudaydah.


The group deployed an air defense system on the outskirts of the capital, Sana'a, in particular in Nuqum, Matnah, and Saraf. Before the American-British attack, the Houthis had deployed air defense systems on the outskirts of the capital, Sana'a, and between the Arhab district and the Al-Jawf border governorate. The Houthi group transferred missiles from depots in the valleys between Sanaa and Al-Jawf and deployed them on mountains overlooking Sanaa.


The sources indicated that the Houthi group has been using camouflage techniques to hide camps and launch pads and emptying depots in Hajjah and Al-Hudaydah.

The sources confirmed the continuation of the mobilization of forces in the air defense camp in the Al-Amaki area of Taiz. The camp is a site for launching missiles and drones towards Bab al-Mandab and the Red Sea.

The group prepared to launch attacks in two directions: Mocha and Bab El-Mandab to the west of Yemen and Al-Dhalea and Lahj, especially the Al-Anad military base to the south of Yemen.

President Joe Biden said in a statement the strikes were meant to demonstrate that the U.S. and its allies "will not tolerate" the militant group's ceaseless attacks on the Red Sea. The military action came after attempts at diplomatic negotiations and careful deliberation, he said.

British PM Rishi Sunak described the strikes as "limited, necessary and proportionate action in self-defence"

Saudi Arabia called for restraint and "avoiding escalation" in light of the air strikes launched by the United States and Britain against Houthi sites, the kingdom's foreign ministry said on Friday. It added, "The kingdom emphasizes the importance of maintaining the security and stability of the Red Sea region, as the freedom of navigation in it is an international demand."

The Kremlin on Friday condemned the United States and the United Kingdom for military strikes against the Houthis in Yemen. At the same time, Russia's mission to the UN requested an urgent Security Council session. "From the point of view of international law, they are illegitimate," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked about the strikes on Friday.


The Houthis vow that U.S. and U.K. strikes on their positions in Yemen will not go without "punishment or retaliation". The Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said the Houthi operations will continue to hit Israeli-linked ships in the Red Sea and in support of the Palestinians in Gaza.

On Thursday, the group's leader Abdel-Malik al-Houthi said in a televised speech any attack on Yemen will not go without a response. "Any American attack will not remain without a response. The response will be greater than the attack that was carried out with 20 drones and a number of missiles," the Houthi leader said, referring to a strike on Tuesday when Houthi drones and missiles targeted U.S. and United Kingdom ships.