(UnitedVoice.com) – Yemen Houthi rebels spent the last several months attacking commercial ships that were sailing through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. It is used for about 12% of the world’s trade, making it a critical shipping route. Now, the United States, United Kingdom, and others are responding to the rebels with airstrikes of their own.
On Thursday, January 11, the US and its allies began launching air attacks using missiles and fighter jets on Houthi targets in Yemen. Prior to the US attacks, President Joe Biden’s administration warned the Iranian-backed militants of severe consequences if they didn’t stop targeting commercial ships. On Wednesday, American fighter jets intercepted two anti-ship cruise missiles, one anti-ship ballistic missile, and 18 drones.
Biden issued a statement after the strikes began on Thursday, calling them a “clear message” that the US and its allies aren’t going to tolerate terrorists disrupting trade. The POTUS said over 2,000 ships have had to divert thousands of miles in order to avoid the Red Sea. Companies are routing their ships around Africa, avoiding the Middle East. In doing so, they are spending more on gas, and the trips are taking 10 days longer.
The Houthis have refused to stop their drone and missile attacks despite the warnings and airstrikes. They claim they are responding to the Israeli war on Hamas.
The New York Times reported Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said the US strikes are targeting drone and missile launch sites, radars, and weapons storage areas. In addition to the US and UK, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, and Bahrain participated in the strikes. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the UK “will always stand up for freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade.”
On January 14, the militant group targeted the USS Laboon, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the Red Sea, firing an anti-ship cruise missile at it. A US fighter jet shot the missile down, preventing it from hitting the US Navy ship.
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