WASHINGTON – The US on Saturday carried out airstrikes against a Houthi anti-ship missile that was aimed at the Gulf of Aden, according to the American military.
“U.S. CENTCOM Destroys Houthi Terrorists’ Anti-Ship Missile as part of ongoing efforts to protect freedom of navigation and prevent attacks on maritime vessels, on January 20 at approximately 4 a.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Central Command forces conducted airstrikes against a Houthi anti-ship missile that was aimed into the Gulf of Aden and was prepared to launch,” US Central Command (CENTCOM) wrote on X.
US forces determined the missile posed a threat to merchant vessels and US Navy ships in the region, and destroyed the missile in self-defense, it stressed, adding the action was conducted to make international waters safer and more secure for US Navy and merchant vessels.
The airstrike follows a wave of strikes against Houthi targets since the US and UK began carrying them out on Jan. 12.
The Biden administration said the strikes were “defensive” in nature, and were intended to erode the Houthis’ ability to strike vessels in the Red Sea, which is one of the world’s most frequently used sea routes for oil and fuel shipments.
The Houthis have been attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea and warned they will attack all Israeli-bound ships. They said the attacks are meant to support Palestinians as they face Israel’s “aggression and siege” in Gaza.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced last month the creation of a multinational mission, Operation Prosperity Guardian, to counter Houthi attacks. (Anadolu)