The United States and Britain launched military strikes against targets in Houthi-controlled Yemen, two U.S. officials confirmed Thursday evening.
The strikes targeted multiple locations, using fighter jets and Tomahawks fired from Navy ships.
The news comes after the Biden administration and its allies warned that the Iran-backed militant group would bear the consequences if it repeated more drone and missile attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea.
The group has said that it is acting in support of Hamas’ fight against Israel in Gaza, following Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7.
President Joe Biden confirmed Britain assisted the United States with the strike along “with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands.”
Today, at my direction, U.S. military forces—together with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands—successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most vital waterways,” Biden said.
Senior administration officials briefed congressional leadership earlier Thursday, an official confirms. This marks the first known strike against the Houthis in Yemen and comes amid tension in the Middle East as the U.S. looks to ensure the war in Gaza does not spill into other areas in the region.
The Biden administration has been debating on launching the strikes, fearing it would risk of escalation in a region where tension has already been high but ongoing Houthi attacks on international shipping made both countries act.
No injuries or damage were reported in the attack, the group’s 27th on international shipping since Nov. 19, Central Command said.
A spokesman for the Houthis has said they were only targeting ships with links to Israel — a claim that has been disputed by both the U.S. and U.K. officials.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of consequences and added he doesn’t believe the war in Gaza is escalating into a regional conflict.
“If it doesn’t stop, there will have to be consequences. And unfortunately, it hasn’t stopped,” he said.