U.S. and British forces have carried out another large round of airstrikes targeting Yemen’s Houthi militants, who have been attacking merchant ships in the Red Sea since November. The most recent (claimed) Houthi attack occurred earlier Monday.
In a statement, U.S. Central Command said that American and British forces hit eight Houthi targets – the most reported at one time since the initial round of airstrikes on January 11. The strikes were targeted at “missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, radars, and deeply buried weapons storage facilities.”
The command released an accompanying video showing F/A-18 Super Hornets launching from the deck of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which is currently stationed in the Gulf of Aden. The aircraft appeared to be departing with full loads of ground-penetrating bombs, noted The War Zone, a popular OSINT and defense site.
Residents in northwestern Yemen reported large-scale airstrikes Monday night and have shared photos and videos of the blasts on social media.
Central Command took care to put U.S./UK bilateral airstrikes in their own category of activity, “separate and distinct” from the multilateral policing operation known as Operation Prosperity Guardian. The latter operation has a different list of member nations, including some who have chosen to remain anonymous.
The U.S. and the UK assess that the Houthis are not acting alone. Iranian munitions have also been captured en route to Yemen for years, since the early days of the Yemeni civil war. Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, head of 5th Fleet, told the AP on Monday that Iran is “very directly involved” in the Houthis’ attacks on shipping. Reuters has reported that Iran has military advisors on the ground to assist with target selection and operations.