U.S., Partners Continue Pushback Against Iranian-Backed Houthi Terrorist Group
Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. and U.K, with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands, conducted strikes on eight Houthi targets in Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist-controlled areas of Yemen, the Pentagon press secretary said.
Yesterday’s strikes came “in response to the Iranian regime-backed Houthi’s continued attacks against international and commercial shipping as well as naval vessels transiting the Red Sea,” Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a briefing today. “The strikes were precise, proportionate and intended to further disrupt and degrade the capabilities the Houthis have been using to threaten global trade and the lives of innocent mariners.”
According to U.S. Central Command, the strike targets included missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, radars and underground weapons storage facilities. The strikes occurred near midnight, Jan. 22, Yemen time.
Within 15 to 30 minutes following those initial strikes, Ryder said, the U.S. struck an additional Houthi target — an anti-ship cruise missile — which he said was, at the time, prepared to launch and which presented a threat to vessels operating in the region.
“Our aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea,” Ryder said. “We will not hesitate to defend the lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways in the face of continued threats.”
According to Ryder, the Defense Department assesses that since January 11, the U.S. and partners have destroyed or degraded over 25 Houthi missile launch and deployment facilities, more than 20 missiles and an additional number of unmanned aerial vehicles, coastal radar and air surveillance capabilities and weapons storage areas.
“We have been very focused on targeting the kinds of things that they’ve been employing or using to conduct attacks against international shipping and mariners,” he said. “That will continue to be our focus.”
Strikes in Iraq
Centcom also announced that the U.S. had today conducted strikes in Iraq against the Iranian-backed militia group Kataib Hezbollah. That strike was in response to attacks made by the group this past weekend, including at al-Asad Airbase in western Iraq.
According to Centcom, the strikes were against three facilities used by the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia group and other Iran-affiliated groups in Iraq.
“These strikes targeted KH headquarters, storage and training locations for rocket, missile and one-way attack UAV [unmanned aerial vehicles] capabilities,” the Centcom release said.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a statement that the strikes had been authorized by President Joe Biden.
“I am grateful for both the skill and professionalism with which our personnel planned and conducted these strikes and the continued efforts of our troops on the ground as they work with regional partners to further dismantle and degrade ISIS,” Austin said. “The president and I will not hesitate to take necessary action to defend them and our interests. We do not seek to escalate conflict in the region. We are fully prepared to take further measures to protect our people and our facilities. We call on these groups and their Iranian sponsors to immediately cease these attacks.”