The U.S. military on Thursday destroyed a ground control station and 10 drones in areas of Yemen controlled by the Houthis – the latest operation targeting their assets since the militant group began attacking commercial and Navy ships in the Red Sea.
The strikes were carried out “in self-defense” because the targets “presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and the U.S. Navy ships in the area,” U.S. Central Command said in a statement. “This action will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy vessels and merchant vessels.”
Hours earlier, U.S. forces shot down a ballistic missile fired from “Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen,” Central Command said. The military also destroyed three Iranian drones in the area.
The Houthis began a missile and drone campaign on Red Sea shipping lanes in mid-November, forcing cargo vessels to seek other routes and raising the cost of shipping. The Houthis say their attacks are meant to show solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, ravaged by the Israeli military retaliation to the Oct. 7 Hamas assaults.
On Jan. 11, the U.S. and U.K. started launching joint attacks on Houthi military targets after the group ignored multiple warnings, but that hasn’t deterred the rebels. American forces destroyed a Houthi missile that was ready to launch Wednesday and another one headed for a U.S. warship Tuesday, Central Command said. CNN reported that missile came within a mile of the USS Gravely.