Houthis can’t ‘execute the same way’ after strike, US says
Coalition strikes came days after the most complex Houthi attack yet.
The U.S. and allied strike on Houthi targets in Yemen on Thursday didn’t completely destroy the Houthis’ ability to launch drone and missile attacks on commercial shipping targets in the Red Sea—but it did hurt, U.S. officials said Friday.
“I know we have the greater capability. I don't believe that they would be able to execute the same way they did the other day,” Director of the Joint Staff Lt. Gen. Douglas Sims told reporters, referring to the Houthis’ launch of more than 20 drones at missiles at the U.S. and other ships in the Red Sea earlier just days earlier
The U.S. strike involved Navy F/A-18 jets from the Eisenhower carrier strike group and missiles from the the USS Gravely, USS Philippine Sea, and the USS Mason, as well as an Ohio-class submarine, Sims said, and four British Typhoon jets, with “support of the Australians, Bahrainis, Canadians and the Netherlands.”
“Every target we struck last night was associated with a capability that has been employed in denying freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and in the [Bab al Mandeb.] So whether it was associated with radars that are providing us surveillance to the Houthis to determine what ships to strike at, if it's one-way attack UAVs being used to strike at ships, or it's some sort of ballistic cruise or otherwise that have been employed in an effort to strike those ships, all of those were capabilities that we sought to degrade with our strikes last night,” said Sims.
While Sims didn’t give a casualty count, he said he expects the number to be low, as the targets “were in areas that were not built up at all. So ballistic missile launchers that were in mountain areas or, you know, very lowly populated areas.”
Still, Houthi groups launched yet another ballistic missile attack Friday morning. “You know, it seems within the DNA,” he said.
Some 33 percent of global shipping goes through the Red Sea, and Houthi attacks have had an impact, said Sims.
“Twelve companies around the world have somehow altered their operations, whether they're going all the way around or limiting the movement in and around the Red Sea and the [Bab al Mandeb]. Every time they do that, that cost is incurred or is passed on to consumers around the world.”