U.S. Conducts Defensive Strikes on Houthi Missiles to Safeguard Maritime Security

U.S. CENTCOM conducted defensive strikes on 14 Houthi missiles at multiple locations the previous night.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 06:24 AM, January 19, 2024
  • 360
U.S. Conducts Defensive Strikes on Houthi Missiles to Safeguard Maritime Security
Seized Iranian dhow transporting advanced conventional weapons.

In response to an imminent threat posed by Houthi antiship missiles in the southern Red Sea, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) forces executed defensive strikes earlier today.

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh addressed the media during a news conference at the Pentagon, revealing that two missiles were intercepted this morning. Additionally, U.S. CENTCOM conducted defensive strikes on 14 Houthi missiles at multiple locations the previous night.

Singh underscored the necessity of these defensive actions, emphasizing that the missiles on launch rails presented an immediate danger to both merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region. "These strikes, carried out by Navy F/A-18 attack aircraft, were taken to protect freedom of navigation and thwart the potential threat of imminent attacks by the Houthis," she stated.

Meanwhile, U.S. CENTCOM reported the third Houthi terrorist attack on a commercial vessel in three days. On Jan. 18, around 9 p.m. (Sanaa time), Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles at the M/V Chem Ranger, a U.S.-owned, Marshall Island-flagged, Greek-operated tanker. The missiles hit the water near the ship, but no injuries or damages were reported. The vessel remains underway.

Iranian Advanced Conventional Weapons Seized

Highlighting the broader context, Singh disclosed that on Jan. 11, the USS LEWIS B. PULLER (ESB 3) intercepted an Iranian dhow transporting advanced conventional weapons. A nighttime boarding operation was conducted by U.S. Sailors, who maintained control of the vessel until daybreak. The extensive search, assisted by the U.S. Coast Guard, successfully uncovered and seized Iranian advanced conventional weapons.

Singh stressed the importance of these operations, stating, "These defensive measures are vital to ensuring the safety of international and commercial shipping in the Red Sea, the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden."

Degrading Houthi Capabilities

Singh highlighted that the recent defensive strikes, along with those carried out in the past weeks, were strategically designed to degrade the Houthi capabilities. The ultimate goal is to deter the Houthi rebels from perpetuating their reckless attacks on international and commercial shipping routes in the strategically significant waterways.

"The U.S. and the international community call on the Houthis to cease their unlawful attacks on commercial shipping vessels and to respect the international community's right to freely and safely navigate international waters," Singh concluded, echoing the collective demand for adherence to maritime norms and global security standards.

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