Updated Jan 17, 2024 - World

U.S. fires fresh round of strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen

A Yemeni man browsing the news on his laptop screen that broadcasts U.S.-U.K. warships amid news spread relating to the attack on the Zografia ship in the Red Sea, on January 16.

A Yemeni man watches a Jan. 16 broadcast on U.S.-U.K. warships. Photo: Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images

U.S. forces conducted strikes on 14 Iran-backed Houthi missiles "that were loaded to be fired" from Yemen, the United States Central Command said Wednesday.

The big picture: The announcement came hours after the Biden administration re-designated Houthis as a "global terrorist group" in response to their dozens of attacks on merchant and commercial vessels in the Red Sea, which the rebels said they began in October in protest against the Israel-Hamas war.

Driving the news: The missiles on launch rails in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen "presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region and could have been fired at any time, prompting U.S. forces to exercise their inherent right and obligation to defend themselves," per a CENTCOM statement.

  • "These strikes, along with other actions we have taken, will degrade the Houthi's capabilities to continue their reckless attacks on international and commercial shipping in the Red Sea, the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden."

What they're saying: "The actions by the Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists continue to endanger international mariners and disrupt the commercial shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea and adjacent waterways," said General Michael Erik Kurilla, CENTCOM commander, in a statement.

  • "We will continue to take actions to protect the lives of innocent mariners and we will always protect our people."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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