U.S. Launches Strikes on Sites in Houthi-Controlled Areas

News Agencies | 2024-02-19 12:14 AM UTC
U.S. Launches Strikes on Sites in Houthi-Controlled Areas


The United States conducted five self-defense strikes in areas of Yemen controlled by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, U.S. Central Command said on Sunday. It said it struck three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, one unmanned underwater vessel and one unmanned surface vessel on Saturday. "This is the first observed Houthi employment of a UUV since attacks began October 23," CENTCOM said in a post on X. Central Command said it had determined the missiles and vessels presented an imminent threat to U.S. Navy ships and merchant ships in the area. The Houthis say their attacks are in solidarity with Palestinians as Israel strikes Gaza. But the U.S. and its allies characterize them as indiscriminate and a menace to global trade.


The German government has approved the deployment of armed forces in a European Union naval mission in the Red Sea to protect merchant ships from attacks by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi militia, a government spokesperson said. "The ongoing escalation of violence and the threat to life and limb of the crews of ships, particularly in the southern Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, require a robustly equipped military operation," the government spokesperson said during a regular press conference in Berlin. Parliamentarians are to receive a motion for a mandate running up till the end of February 2025 with an upper limit of 700 soldiers deployed, the spokesperson said. Many commercial shippers have diverted vessels following attacks by the Houthis, who control much of Yemen and say they are acting in solidarity with the Palestinians as Israel and Hamas wage war in Gaza.


Yemen's Houthi group would continue to ensure conflict in the Red Sea even if the Israel-Hamas war ended, according to the chairman of Yemen's Presidential Leadership. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Rashad Al-Alimi said the only way to remove the danger was through military operations. He said current strikes by the U.S. and U.K. would not deter Houthi threats but vowed to defeat the organization and end its attacks if his government received international backing and Iran was pressured to end its military support.


Talks on a potential ceasefire deal in Gaza "have not been progressing as expected" in the past few days after good progress in recent weeks, key mediator Qatar said Saturday, as Israel's prime minister accused the Hamas militant group of not changing its" delusional" demands.Speaking during the Munich Security Conference, Qatar's prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdurrahman Al Thani, noted difficulties in the "humanitarian part" of the negotiations.The Gaza Health Ministry on Saturday said the overall death toll in Gaza had reached 28,858 since October 7.