Yemen’s
Houthi
followers
take
part
in
a
tribal
parade
held
against
the
United
States-led
aerial
attacks
launched
on
sites
in
Yemen,
and
solidarity
with
Palestinians,
on
January
22,
2024,
near
Sana’a,
Yemen. 

Mohammed
Hamoud
|
Getty
Images

The
United
States
and
Britain
struck
36
Houthi
targets
in
Yemen
on
Saturday
in
a
second
wave
of
assaults
meant
to
further
disable
Iran-backed
groups
that
have
relentlessly
attacked
American
and
international
interests
in
the
wake
of
the
Israel-Hamas
war.

The
latest
strikes
against
the
Houthis
were
launched
by
warships
and
fighter
jets.
The
strikes
follow

an
air
assault
in
Iraq
and
Syria

on
Friday
that
targeted
other
Iranian-backed
militias
and
the
Iranian
Revolutionary
Guard
in
retaliation
for
the
drone
strike
that
killed
three
U.S.
troops
in
Jordan
last
weekend.

The
Houthi
targets
were
in
13
different
locations
and
were
struck
by
U.S.
F/A-18
fighter
jets
from
the
USS
Dwight
D.
Eisenhower
aircraft
carrier
and
by
the
USS
Gravely
and
the
USS
Carney
Navy
destroyers
firing
Tomahawk
missiles
from
the
Red
Sea,
the
U.S.
officials
told
The
Associated
Press.
They
were
not
authorized
to
publicly
discuss
the
military
operation
and
spoke
on
condition
of
anonymity.

The
U.S.
warned
that
its
response
after
the
soldiers’
deaths
at
the
Tower
22
base
in
Jordan
last
Sunday
would
not
be
limited
to
one
night,
one
target,
or
one
group.
But
the
Houthis
have
been
conducting
almost
daily
missile
or
drone
attacks
against
commercial
and
military
ships
transiting
the
Red
Sea
and
Gulf
of
Aden
and
they
have
made
clear
that
they
have
no
intention
of
scaling
back
their
campaign.
It
was
not
immediately
clear
whether
the
allied
assaults
would
deter
them.

Defense
Secretary
Lloyd
Austin
said
in
a
statement
that
the
military
action,
with
support
from
Australia,
Bahrain,
Canada,
Denmark,
the
Netherlands,
and
New
Zealand,
“sends
a
clear
message
to
the
Houthis
that
they
will
continue
to
bear
further
consequences
if
they
do
not
end
their
illegal
attacks
on
international
shipping
and
naval
vessels.”

He
added:
“We
will
not
hesitate
to
defend
lives
and
the
free
flow
of
commerce
in
one
of
the
world’s
most
critical
waterways.”

The
Defense
Department
said
the
strikes
targeted
sites
associated
with
the
Houthis’
deeply
buried
weapons
storage
facilities,
missile
systems
and
launchers,
air
defense
systems
and
radars.

Saturday’s
strikes
marked
the
third
time
the
U.S.
and
Britain
had
conducted
a
large
joint
operation
to
strike
Houthi
weapon
launchers,
radar
sites
and
drones.
The
strikes
in
Yemen
are
meant
to
underscore
the
broader
message
to
Iran
that
Washington
holds
Tehran
responsible
for
arming,
funding
and
training
the
array
of
militias
behind
attacks
across
the
Mideast
against
U.S.
and
international
interests
over
the
past
several
months,
including
in
Iraq
and
Syria
by
the
rebels
in
Yemen.

Video
shared
online
by
people
in
Sanaa,
Yemen’s
capital,
included
the
sound
of
explosions
and
at
least
one
blast
was
seen
lighting
up
the
night
sky.
Residents
described
the
blasts
as
happening
around
buildings
associated
with
the
Yemeni
presidential
compound.
The
Houthi-controlled
state-run
news
agency,
SABA,
reported
strikes
in
al-Bayda,
Dhamar,
Hajjah,
Hodeida,
Taiz
and
Sanaa
provinces

On
Friday
the
U.S.
destroyer
Laboon
and
F/A-18s
from
the
Eisenhower
shot
down
seven
drones
fired
from
Houthi-controlled
areas
of
Yemen
into
the
Red
Sea,
the
destroyer
Carney
shot
down
a
drone
fired
in
the
Gulf
of
Aden
and
U.S.
forces
took
out
four
more
drones
that
were
prepared
to
launch.

Hours
before
the
latest
joint
operation,
the
U.S.
took
another
self-defense
strike
on
a
site
in
Yemen,
destroying
six
anti-ship
cruise
missiles,
as
it
has
repeatedly
when
it
has
detected
a
missile
or
drone
ready
to
launch.

The
Houthis’
attacks
have
led
shipping
companies
to
reroute
their
vessels
from
the
Red
sea,
sending
them
around
Africa
through
the
Cape
of
Good
Hope

a
much
longer,
costlier
and
less
efficient
passage.
The
threats
also
have
led
the
U.S.
and
its
allies
to
set
up
a
joint
mission
where
warships
from
participating
nations
provide
a
protective
umbrella
of
air
defense
for
ships
as
they
travel
the
critical
waterway
that
runs
from
the
Suez
Canal
down
to
the
Bab
el-Mandeb
Strait.

During
normal
operations,
about
400
commercial
vessels
transit
the
southern
Red
Sea
at
any
given
time.

The
U.S.
has
blamed
the
Jordan
attack
on
the
Islamic
Resistance
in
Iraq,
a
coalition
of
Iranian-backed
militias.
Iran
has
tried
to
distance
itself
from
the
drone
strike,
saying
the
militias
act
independently
of
its
direction.

Hussein
al-Mosawi,
spokesperson
for
Harakat
al-Nujaba,
one
of
the
main
Iranian-backed
militias
in
Iraq,
condemned
the
earlier
U.S.
strike
in
Iraq
and
said
Washington
“must
understand
that
every
action
elicits
a
reaction.”
But
in
the
AP
interview
in
Baghdad,
he
also
struck
a
more
conciliatory
tone.
“We
do
not
wish
to
escalate
or
widen
regional
tensions,”
he
said.

Mosawi
said
the
targeted
sites
in
Iraq
were
mainly
“devoid
of
fighters
and
military
personnel
at
the
time
of
the
attack.”

Rami
Abdurrahman,
who
heads
the
Britain-based
Syrian
Observatory
for
Human
Rights,
said
that
23
people,
all
rank-and-file
fighters,
were
killed.
Iraqi
government
spokesperson
Bassim
al-Awadi
said
in
a
statement
that
16
people,
including
civilians,
were
killed
and
there
was
“significant
damage”
to
homes
and
private
properties.

The
U.S.
said
it
had
informed
Iraq
about
the
operation
before
it
started.

A
U.S.
official
said
an
initial
battle
damage
assessment
showed
the
U.S.
had
struck
each
of
its
planned
targets
in
addition
to
a
few
“dynamic
targets”
that
popped
up
as
the
mission
unfolded,
including
a
surface-to-air
missile
site
and
drone
launch
sites.
The
official,
who
spoke
on
the
condition
of
anonymity
to
provide
details
that
were
not
yet
public,
did
not
have
a
casualty
assessment.

The
Iraqi
government
has
been
in
a
delicate
position
since
a
group
of
Iranian-backed
Iraqi
militias
calling
itself
Islamic
Resistance
in
Iraq
began
launching
attacks
on
U.S.
bases
in
Iraq
and
Syria
on
Oct.
18.
The
group
described
the
strikes
as
retaliation
for
Washington’s
support
for
Israel
in
the
war
in
Gaza.

Behind
the
scenes,
Iraqi
officials
have
attempted
to
rein
in
the
militias,
while
also
condemning
U.S.
retaliatory
strikes
as
a
violation
of
Iraqi
sovereignty
and
calling
for
an
exit
of
the
2,500
U.S.
troops
who
are
in
the
country
as
part
of
an
international
coalition
to
fight
IS.
Last
month,
Iraqi
and
U.S.
military
officials
launched
formal
talks
to
wind
down
the
coalition’s
presence,
a
process
that
will
likely
take
years.