The U.S. military executed its third strike against Houthi militants in Yemen, focusing on neutralizing the threat posed by anti-ship ballistic missiles. The operation, conducted on January 16, targeted missile sites controlled by Iranian-backed Houthi militants.
According to the U.S. Central Command, the latest strike occurred at approximately 1:45 p.m. (Sanaa time), with Houthi militants launching an anti-ship ballistic missile from Yemen into international shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea. The Maltese flagged bulk carrier, M/V Zografia, reported being struck but remained seaworthy, continuing its transit in the Red Sea. Fortunately, no injuries were reported in the incident.
Earlier on the same day, at approximately 4:15 a.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Forces successfully struck and destroyed four Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles that were prepared to launch from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen.
Despite the Biden administration’s previous strikes on Houthi targets, these actions have not deterred the militants from continuing their attacks in the Red Sea. John Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, defended the decision to proceed with the strikes, noting that the subsequent Houthi attacks were of a significantly smaller scale.
“We believe that we did have a good effect with those strikes in terms of disrupting and degrading their capability to conduct military offensive operations,” Kirby stated.
The situation in the region remains complex, requiring a measured and calculated response to ensure the safety and security of maritime activities in the Red Sea.