The United States military declared on Sunday that it had targeted several military equipment and missiles in areas of Yemen under Houthi control, as a preemptive measure to protect Red Sea trade lines.
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said that the attacks, targeting three anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs) and two unmanned surface boats (USVs), took place on Saturday between 4:00 and 5:00 pm local time north of Hodeida, were intended to remove any possible threats.
The successful self-defense strikes against recognized USVs and ASCMs were emphasized in the CENTCOM statement shared on social media. As tensions in the area rise, three strikes were reported on Saturday night in the Salif port area by Houthi-run television. Information was also confirmed by bystanders who claimed to have heard huge explosions.
The United States and its partners are waging a wider campaign to stop the Houthi militants' recurrent attacks on vital Red Sea trade lines, which includes these targeted strikes. With the motive of supporting Palestinians in Gaza, the Iran-backed Houthis, have escalated their attacks claiming that the vessels they target are connected to Israel or the United States.
The Houthis confirmed that fighters from those earlier raids had suffered losses; the United States and the United Kingdom were specifically mentioned as targets of their military operations. Resulting in the recent uptick in hostilities. Notably, last Tuesday saw two attacks in the Red Sea on US and British ships that the Houthis claimed credit for; however, no casualties were reported and minimal damage was done.
Beyond the military fallout, these strikes have increased the cost of insurance for maritime businesses sailing the Red Sea, forcing many of them to look for other routes. The important maritime commerce route, which normally handles 12% of all shipping traffic worldwide, is in danger of being compromised by the Houthi interruption.