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US and UK hit Houthis with further air strikes

President Biden and UK Prime Minister Sunak reiterate their ‘commitment to freedom of navigation, international commerce, and defending mariners from illegal and unjustifiable attacks’

The eighth round of air strikes from the US and UK have targeted Houthi underground storage, missile and air surveillance sites in a bid to stem the series of attacks against shipping the Red Sea

THE US and UK launched another major series of air strikes against Houthi targets on Monday in the latest bid to stem attacks against commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

The operation on Monday evening marked the eighth round of attacks in the past 12 days as coalition forces have shifted from a purely defensive stance to routinely aiming at undermining the Iran-backed militia’s ability to assault ships. 

The strikes targeted an underground storage site and locations linked to the Houthis’ “missile and air surveillance capabilities”.

While both US and UK officials have conceded in recent days that airstrikes will take some time to show any effect, both governments have been exploring ways to step up their campaign against the Houthis without provoking a broader war, with a focus on pre-emptive strikes and disrupting resupply shipments from Iran. 

A joint statement issued by the Pentagon confirmed “an additional round of proportionate and necessary strikes” against the Houthis.

It added: “Our aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea, but let us reiterate our warning to Houthi leadership: we will not hesitate to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world's most critical waterways in the face of continued threats.”

The strikes were “intended to degrade Houthi capability to continue their reckless and unlawful attacks on US and UK ships as well as international commercial shipping in the Red Sea, Bab el Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden,” explained US Central Command in a statement on the social media platform X.

Earlier on Monday evening Houthi military spokesman brigadier general Yahya Saree claimed that another US-flagged vessel, the heavy-lift ship Ocean Jazz (IMO: 9509970), had been attacked, however this was later refuted by US Navy Central Command. 

“The Iran-backed Houthi terrorists’ report of an alleged successful attack on Ocean Jazz is patently false. Navcent has maintained constant communications with Ocean Jazz throughout its safe transit,” US Naval Forces Central Command said on Monday.

Ocean Jazz entered the Red Sea from the Suez Canal on January 18, however the vessel has had its Automatic Identification System turned off. 

The US and UK conducted the attacks with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands, the Pentagon said.

President Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke Monday afternoon, according to the White House. It said that the two leaders “reiterated their commitment to freedom of navigation, international commerce, and defending mariners from illegal and unjustifiable attacks”.


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