OpinionTerrorism

US/UK Airstrike on Houthis in Yemen

Too little too late? Or will this help?

As we have previously written, the Houthis in Yemen have created a snarl with Red Sea shipping by firing off drones and rockets/missiles at both commercial and military vessels. Higher prices from those actions are on the way. On January 11, the US and UK retaliated by hitting 60 Houthi targets in 16 strikes on “command and control nodes, munitions depots, launching systems, production facilities, and air defense radar systems.” (Lt. Gen. Alex Grynkewich).

US CENTCOM issued the following statement:

“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 reckless attacks on U.S. and international vessels and commercial shipping in the Red Sea. This multinational action targeted radar systems, air defense systems, and storage and launch sites for one way attack unmanned aerial systems, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. Since Oct. 17, 2023, Iranian-backed Houthi militants have attempted to attack and harass 27 ships in international shipping lanes. These illegal incidents include attacks that have employed anti-ship ballistic missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. These strikes have no association with and are separate from Operation Prosperity Guardian, a defensive coalition of over 20 countries operating in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandeb Strait, and Gulf of Aden. “We hold the Houthi militants and their destabilizing Iranian sponsors responsible for the illegal, indiscriminate, and reckless attacks on international shipping that have impacted 55 nations so far, including endangering the lives of hundreds of mariners, including the United States,” said General Michael Erik Kurilla, USCENTCOM Commander. “Their illegal and dangerous actions will not be tolerated, and they will be held accountable.” US CENTCOM on X.com

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The instant response from Iran and Russia? It was “irresponsible.” Like invading Ukraine was responsible. And telling the US that the actions would “increase instability” is downright stupid. Iran’s proxies in the region have massacred Israelis, attacked our troops in both Iraq and Syria, and caused international trade to be rerouted to a more expensive shipping path. THAT is increasing instability in the region.

The Houthi attacks have been growing in intensity, after one attack two days ago caused the US to shoot down dozens of drones and missiles launched against the shipping lanes. The, of course, there is Iran’s seizure of an oil tanker yesterday.

“These strikes are in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea — including the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles for the first time in history…I will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary.” Joe Biden in The Military Times

He may say he won’t “hesitate” but in truth he already has, especially after removing the Houthis from the terrorism designation as soon as he got into office. The lack of immediate response to the Houthi attacks has cost the United States. Added to the recent snaffu with SecDef Austin, and there is a giant-sized hole in Pentagon confidence.

We are in serious need of strong leadership.

*****

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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. She has been writing at Conservative Firing Line since 2013 as well. She is also a published author.

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