On the night of Wednesday, January 17th, U.S. forces conducted precision strikes in Yemen against 14 Houthi missiles that were ready for launch. These missiles posed a significant threat to commercial and military ships in the Red Sea region. According to a statement from the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), this operation underscores the U.S. commitment to ensuring the freedom and security of navigation.
The following is the statement from the United States Central Command:
“In the context of ongoing multi-national efforts to protect freedom of navigation and prevent attacks on U.S. and partner maritime traffic in the Red Sea, on January 17 at approximately 11:59 p.m. (Sana’a time), U.S. Central Command forces conducted strikes on 14 Iran-backed Houthi missiles that were loaded to be fired in Houthi controlled areas in Yemen.
These missiles on launch rails 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. 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.
“‘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, USCENTCOM Commander. ‘We will continue to take actions to protect the lives of innocent mariners and we will always protect our people.'”