The United States carried out further strikes against the Iran-backed Houthi group in Yemen on Sunday, according to the US Central Command (Centcom).
Centcom reported that the strikes targeted a land-attack cruise missile and four anti-ship missiles that were poised for launch against ships in the Red Sea. This move follows joint US-UK strikes on Houthi targets a day earlier.
The United States has signalled its intention to take additional measures against Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria.
On Friday, the US conducted strikes against targets linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militias in response to a drone attack on a military base in Jordan that resulted in the deaths of three US soldiers on January 28.
Speaking to US media on Sunday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan asserted that “more steps” would be taken to deter the militias.
Concurrently, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is embarking on a Middle East trip with stops in Israel, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the West Bank.
Mr. Sullivan emphasized that Mr. Blinken’s “top priority” would be to broker a deal between Israel and Hamas aimed at securing the release of hostages in exchange for a temporary cessation of hostilities in Gaza. Sullivan stated, “We are going to press for it relentlessly,” placing the onus on Hamas to respond.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has taken a toll, with the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza reporting over 27,000 casualties.
The conflict, sparked by a Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7 that resulted in approximately 1,300 deaths and 250 hostages taken back to Gaza, has led to significant disruptions in international trade.
The Houthis, in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, claimed responsibility for attacks on shipping linked to Israel in the Red Sea. This has prompted significant shipping companies to divert routes away from the area.
The impact is not limited to the regional conflict, as Egypt reported a nearly 50% plunge in revenue from the Suez Canal in January. The number of ships transiting through the vital trade artery decreased by over a third.
Saturday’s joint US-UK strikes illuminated the night sky in the southern part of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, leaving houses shaking, according to reports from human rights activists and residents.
Despite the strikes, Houthi officials remained defiant, vowing to retaliate. The group’s military spokesman, Yahya Sarea, declared.
“These attacks will not deter us from our moral, religious, and humanitarian stance in support of the resilient Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and will not go unanswered or unpunished.”
As tensions escalate in the region, the international community closely watches the developments, with concerns mounting about the broader implications of the conflict and the potential for further military engagements.
The situation underscores the complexities and interconnections in the Middle East, with multiple actors and conflicts intertwining in a volatile and unpredictable geopolitical landscape.
This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members