In a display of military power, the forces of the USA and the United Kingdom launched a large-scale operation against the Iran-backed Houthi in Yemen. This carefully orchestrated attack included strikes on over 70 targets with more than 100 precision munitions in 16 areas, aimed at substantially weakening the Houthi’s military infrastructure and preventing future aggression.
The operation, designed as a direct response to the increasing hostilities of the Houthi, targeted a broad range of objectives. These included vital command and control centers for Houthi operations, ammunition depots, ballistic missile arsenals, launch systems used for attacks, weapon manufacturing facilities, and necessary radar systems for their air defense. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak approved the strikes after consulting with the USA, characterizing them as a necessary act of “self-defense” aimed at de-escalating regional tensions and ensuring stability.
According to current information, the first phase began shortly after 2:00 a.m. Yemeni time, with a large number of Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from an Ohio-class guided-missile submarine in the southern Red Sea. These missiles, traveling at high speed just meters above the sea, targeted seven different Houthi locations, including military facilities in Sadeh, Zubaydah, Tiaz, and the naval base in Hodeidah.
At 2:35, a Houthi radar station was destroyed by the Tomahawk attacks.
At the same time, 4 Typhoons of the British RAF, launched from Cyprus and equipped with six Paveway IV precision bombs, met with a Voyager for aerial refueling over the Red Sea. Then, these aircraft descended below 10,000 feet and split into pairs to strike their targets at Bani and Abbs airports, where Houthi drone storage and reconnaissance means were concentrated.
Meanwhile, about 15 American FA-18 Super Hornets took off from the US aircraft carrier Dwight D Eisenhower and formed strike groups. The American fighters, using an array of guided bombs including Paveway, JDAM, and likely HARM-AARGM, successfully hit radar installations, missile and drone launch positions, weapon storage areas, air defense systems, and ammunition depots. Alongside the aerial attack, US Arleigh Burke-class destroyers launched a barrage of Tomahawk missiles, striking multiple Houthi locations.
The support for these strikes came from Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft, which blinded Houthi air defense to protect the strike teams. An American Boeing RC-135 surveillance aircraft from Doha provided critical information, intercepting Houthi and Iranian communications. Additionally, a US Navy P-8 Poseidon and an E-2 Hawkeye participated in the operation, further enhancing situational awareness and command and control capabilities.
This comprehensive and coordinated strike by coalition forces marked a significant escalation in the region that began with Houthi ballistic missile attacks on commercial ships. Targeting critical infrastructure and military assets, the operation caused massive destruction within minutes but aimed to inflict tactical losses on the Houthi.