US conducts ‘preemptive’ strikes against Houthi underwater vessel, drone

US conducts ‘preemptive’ strikes against Houthi underwater vessel, drone

New York: The United States claims to have conducted fresh strikes against Houthi targets, destroying missiles, unmanned vessels and a drone.

The US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) announced the attacks late on Monday, claiming that it had struck three unmanned surface vessels and two antiship cruise missiles that were in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, preparing to launch towards the Red Sea. The drone, an “unmanned aerial vehicle”, was targeted over the water.

CENTCOM said that the attacks were launched in self-defence, “to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for US Navy and merchant vessels”.

The Iran-aligned Houthis, who control the most populous parts of Yemen, have carried out dozens of attacks on vessels with commercial ties to the US, the United Kingdom and Israel in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November.

The group says the attacks are a response to Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

Despite US-UK retaliatory strikes, it has promised to continue its campaign in solidarity with Palestinians until Israel stops its war on Gaza.