January 13th – Update
Updated Operational Details: Defense officials have confirmed that the US and British forces targeted more than 60 targets in Yemen, involving a total of 28 different sites. Army Lt. Gen. Douglas A. Sims II, the Joint Staff’s director for operations, indicated that the operation aimed to degrade the Houthis’ capabilities, which have been disrupting maritime navigation in the Red Sea and the Bab-el-Mandeb strait.
Specifics of the Strikes: The strikes focused on disabling a range of Houthi capabilities, including radar systems used for ship surveillance, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) employed in attacks on ships, and various missile systems. The overarching objective was to diminish the Houthis’ capacity to threaten shipping in the region.
Military Assets Involved: The operation saw the deployment of Carrier Air Wing 3 aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier, along with the cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the destroyers USS Gravely and USS Mason. Notably, an Ohio-class guided missile submarine, potentially the USS Florida, known for its capacity to carry up to 154 Tomahawk missiles, was also a part of the operation.
Ongoing Assessments: US military planners are currently conducting a battle damage assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of the strikes. This assessment will provide critical insights into the operation’s impact on the Houthi’s military capabilities.
On Jan. 11 at 2:30 a.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Central Command forces, in coordination with the United Kingdom, and support from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and Bahrain conducted joint strikes on Houthi targets to degrade their capability to continue their illegal and… pic.twitter.com/bR8biMolSx
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) January 12, 2024
January 12 – The United States and the United Kingdom have initiated military strikes against targets linked to the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. This joint operation, the first of its kind since the Houthis began disrupting Red Sea commerce late last year, has been publicly supported by countries including Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands.
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) January 12, 2024
The Houthi rebels, who have control over much of Yemen following a civil war, have been targeting shipping routes in the Red Sea, a critical passage for about 15% of global shipping traffic. Since late December, the Houthis have attacked 27 ships, posing a significant threat to international commerce. Despite their claims of targeting vessels linked to Israel or destined for Israeli ports, many affected ships have had no connection to Israel.
The Joint US-UK operation was in response to the Houthis’ largest attack to date on January 9 in the Red Sea, which involved the firing of 21 drones and missiles towards the southern Red Sea, all of which were intercepted by US and British forces.
The Joint Operation
US officials disclosed that the coordinated US-UK strikes specifically targeted Houthi logistical hubs, air defense systems, and weapons storage locations across Yemen. In Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, journalists reported hearing explosions, albeit without visual confirmation of warplanes, suggesting the use of long-range attack methods.
The strikes were aimed at dismantling the Houthis’ capabilities in unmanned aerial vehicles, uncrewed surface vessels, land-attack cruise missiles, and coastal radar. With an overarching goal of weakening the Houthi’s ability to target maritime vessels.
The US utilized warship-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles and jets to hit over 12 sites. The UK contributed with four RAF Typhoon jets from Akrotiri base in Cyprus, employing Paveway bombs to strike two targets.
UPDATE: January 12th, 0011 EST: U.S. Central Command reports that it struck “over 60 targets at 16 Iranian-backed Houthi militant locations”
Over 100 precision-guided munitions and missiles were launched during the strikes, which targeted command and control nodes, drone/missile depots, launching systems, production facilities, and air defense radar systems.
Four @RoyalAirForce Typhoons have conducted precision strikes on two Houthi military targets alongside US forces.
The threat to innocent lives and global trade has become so great that this action was not only necessary, it was our duty to protect vessels & freedom of navigation pic.twitter.com/tbN7ncJYpF
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) January 12, 2024
Individual leadership has warned of retaliation in response to these strikes. A Houthi official warned of severe consequences for this “blatant aggression.”
The recent strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen has sparked discussion around the US War Powers Resolution of 1973. This legislation, which requires the President to consult Congress before committing US troops to hostilities abroad.
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