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US carries out new strikes on Houthi anti-ship missile launchers

Anadolu Agency AMERICAS
Published January 19,2024
US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby (AFP Photo)

The US carried out a new wave of airstrikes targeting Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile launchers on Friday.

The "three successful self-defense strikes" targeted Houthi ballistic missile launchers that were "ready to launch attacks," National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at the White House.

"These actions were, I want to stress again, done in self-defense, but it also helps make safer international waters for both naval vessels as well as merchant shipping," he said.

The attack marks the sixth wave of strikes against Houthi targets since the US and UK began carrying them out Jan. 12. The western attacks have been carried out near daily since.

US President Joe Biden acknowledged Thursday that they are not deterring the Houthis from conducting further attacks, but said the US would continue to carry them out.

The Houthis said their attacks aim to pressure Israel to halt its deadly war on the Gaza Strip, which has killed at least 24,000 victims since an Oct. 7 cross-border offensive by the Palestinian group, Hamas. About 1,200 were killed in Hamas' attack and hundreds more were taken back to Gaza as hostages.

Asked why the US should continue its strikes given that the president acknowledged they are not stopping the Houthis, Kirby said Thursday that "With each and every one of these strikes, we are taking away capability from the Houthis. With each and every one of these strikes, we are making it harder for them to continue to propagate these attacks."

The Red Sea is one of the world's most frequently used sea routes for oil and fuel shipments. It is used to transit between Egypt's Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aden, allowing ships to avoid the much costlier and longer route across the southern coast of Africa.