The US destroyed Houthi anti-ship missiles

The US military said it had struck a Houthi anti-ship missile in Yemen in “self-defense”, as the group prepared to launch the projectile into the Gulf of Aden.

“US forces determined the missile posed a threat to US cargo and naval vessels in the area and therefore attacked and destroyed it in self-defense,” the US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) announced on the social network X on January 20.

CENTCOM added that the latest airstrike was conducted at dawn on January 20 in Yemen. This is the fifth US raid targeting Houthi missile launch locations in the past week.

On January 19, the US military announced that it had conducted 3 airstrikes targeting 3 Houthi anti-ship missiles in Yemen that the group was preparing to launch into the southern Red Sea.

Iran-backed Houthi attacks targeting ships in and around the Red Sea over the past several weeks have hindered trade between Asia and Europe and pose a risk of escalating regional conflicts.

The Houthis, the group that controls the capital, Sanaa and many other large areas in western Yemen, said they attacked to show solidarity and support for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, where Israel conducts a campaign against the Palestinians. Hamas since October last year.

The US has been conducting raids on Houthi targets in Yemen since last week and put the group back on the terrorist list this week. President Joe Biden said the US would continue air strikes even as he acknowledged they may not stop Houthi attacks.

According to the US military, Houthi forces launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles towards a US-owned oil tanker on January 18. The missile fell into the water near the ship’s location and caused no damage.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan expressed concern that tensions in the Red Sea region could get out of control and escalate into a major conflict.

“Of course, we are very worried. We are in a very difficult and dangerous time. That is why we are calling for de-escalation,” he said on CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria GPS program today.