US warships and aircraft, in rapid succession, have taken out Houthi missiles poised to launch over the past few days, underscoring the military’s increasing ability to watch, detect and strike militant activities in Yemen. But so far the strikes have not deterred Houthi attacks on ships in the southern Red Sea or Gulf of Aden, which also have been happening nearly daily.
US STRIKES WILL CONTINUE AS LONG AS NEEDED
The Biden administration put the Houthis back on its list of specially designated global terrorists. The sanctions that come with the formal designation are meant to sever violent extremist groups from their sources of financing, while also allowing vital humanitarian aid to continue flowing to impoverished Yemenis.
And the White House has made it clear that US retaliatory strikes will also be persistent.
“These strikes will continue for as long as they need to continue,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Thursday, adding, “I’m not going to telegraph punches one way or another.”
For months, the Houthis have attacked ships in the Red Sea that they say are either linked to Israel or heading to Israeli ports. They say their attacks aim to end the Israeli air-and-ground offensive in the Gaza Strip that was triggered by the Palestinian militant group Hamas’ Oct 7 attack in southern Israel. But the links to the ships targeted in the rebel assaults have grown more tenuous as the attacks continue.