American forces carried out air strikes against five missiles in Yemen on Sunday – one designed for land attack and the others for targeting ships, the US military said.
The strikes came a day after US and UK forces launched a wave of air raids against Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis – their third round of joint military action in response to the rebels’ persistent attacks on shipping.
US forces “conducted a strike in self-defense against a Houthi… land attack cruise missile,” and later struck “four anti-ship cruise missiles, all of which were prepared to launch against ships in the Red Sea,” Central Command (CENTCOM) said on social media.
American forces “identified the missiles in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined they presented an imminent threat to US Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region,” CENTCOM added.
The Houthis began targeting Red Sea shipping in November, saying they were hitting Israel-linked vessels in support of Palestinians in Gaza, which has been ravaged by the Israel-Hamas war.
US and UK forces responded with strikes against the Houthis, who have since declared American and British interests to be legitimate targets as well.
Anger over Israel’s devastating campaign in Gaza – which began after an unprecedented Hamas attack on October 7 – has grown across the Middle East, stoking violence involving Iran-backed groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
On January 28, a drone slammed into a base in Jordan, killing three US soldiers and wounding more than 40 – an attack Washington blamed on Iran-backed forces.
The US responded Friday with a series of unilateral strikes on Iran-linked targets in Syria and Iraq.