The Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, have been attacking cargo ships in the area for more than two months, prompting the United States and the United Kingdom to conduct combined attacks on Yemen. The Houthis, a group based in Yemen, have said that they are attacking ships because of Western backing for Israel and Israel’s bombing of Gaza. The latest military assault in Yemen, according to the Houthis, was “barbaric” and the West will “pay a heavy price” for it.
American and British warships and fighter jets fired almost a hundred missiles against sixty targets spread across sixteen distinct spots in Yemeni territory controlled by the Houthis. There have been reports of attacks on airports, airbases, and military camps.
The Biden administration is hoping that the strikes on Houthi targets will deter them from launching future operations in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, according to Major General Patrick Ryder, the defense department’s press secretary. This is because “no one” wants to conduct further attacks on Yemen. After the Houthi rebels disregarded two western ultimatums to cease their attacks on ships in the vicinity, the US launched its attacks. Ships throughout the world will experience delays in their shipments as over 2,000 vessels redirected their courses to avoid Houthi strikes.
The Houthi rebels have been receiving weapons and information on Red Sea shipments from Iran, according to US intelligence sources. According to Gerald Feierstein, a former US ambassador to Yemen, the retaliatory strikes by the US have more or less strengthened the Houthi position in the region, as they are now seen as “part of the A-team” of resistance against the US and western powers. However, Feierstein argues that this will not prevent the Houthis from attacking ships in the region.
Due to their lack of infrastructure, the Houthis would require a “lucky strike” to do any significant damage, therefore military chiefs in the US and UK are unconcerned that the US-led attacks may not have been sufficient to discourage subsequent attacks.