US drops more bombs on Yemen as it launches airstrikes on 14 Iran-backed Houthi terrorist missile launchers (VIDEO)

Friday, January 19, 2024
 – The US military has said its forces conducted strikes on 14 Houthi missiles that were loaded to be fired from Yemen, on the fourth day of airstrikes.

In a statement on social media platform X, U.S. Central Command said the Houthi missiles presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region.

'These missiles on launch rails ... could have been fired at any time, prompting U.S. forces to exercise their inherent right and obligation to defend themselves,' it added.

'These strikes, along with other actions we have taken, will degrade the Houthi's capabilities to continue their reckless attacks on international and commercial shipping in the Red Sea, the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden.'

Attacks by the Iran-allied Houthi militia on ships in the region since November have slowed trade between Asia and Europe and alarmed major powers.

The U.S. strikes are meant to degrade the Houthis' ability to carry out attacks in the Red Sea.

But the Houthis, who control most of Yemen, say they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and have threatened to expand their attacks.

Earlier on Wednesday, U.S. Central Command said a drone launched from areas controlled by the Houthi rebels in Yemen had struck a U.S.-owned vessel in the Gulf of Aden.

There was some damage but no injuries in the attack, it added on X. The vessel, M/V Genco Picardy, is a Marshall Islands-flagged flagged, U.S.-operated bulk carrier ship, it said

The Biden administration has re-listed the Houthi rebels in Yemen as a terrorist group, drawing harsh criticism from Republicans who slammed the move for not going far enough.

Former President Donald Trump had previously listed Houthis as foreign terrorist organizations (FTO) and specially designated global terrorists (SDGT).

But Biden's Secretary of State Antony Blinken de-listed them in 2021 to make it easier to get humanitarian aid into Yemen.

Three years later, Biden bowed to increasing pressure to re-list the group - as SDGT only after Houthi rebels attacked U.S. ships in the Red Sea.

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