US and British forces carried out airstrikes on Houthi militants after the UN Safety Council demanded a cease to Houthi assaults on service provider ships within the Crimson Sea. Houthis have launched over a dozen attacks on business ships within the Crimson Sea since November 2023. The US and its allies beforehand condemned Houthi assaults on service provider vessels and vowed to “maintain malign actors accountable for illegal seizures and assaults” in early January.
President Biden known as the strikes a:
…direct response to unprecedented Houthi assaults in opposition to worldwide maritime vessels within the Crimson Sea—together with using anti-ship ballistic missiles for the primary time in historical past. . .Crews from greater than 20 nations have been threatened or taken hostage in acts of piracy. Greater than 2,000 ships have been pressured to divert 1000’s of miles to keep away from the Crimson Sea—which may trigger weeks of delays in product delivery instances. And on January 9, Houthis launched their largest assault so far—immediately focusing on American ships.
A press launch by the UK said the joint strikes have been carried out:
…in accordance with the inherent proper of particular person and collective self-defence, according to the UN Constitution, in opposition to a variety of targets in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. These precision strikes have been meant to disrupt and degrade the capabilities the Houthis use to threaten international commerce and the lives of worldwide mariners in one of many world’s most important waterways.
An unnamed senior official from the Biden administration, remarked in a press call “this is a matter about international commerce, the liberty of navigation, and threats to business vessels and worldwide waterways.” The unnamed official additionally mentioned “Iran is a main, if not the first, enabler or supporter, sponsor of the Houthis and that Iran has been concerned operationally within the conduct of those assaults” and that “we do maintain Iran chargeable for the position that they’ve performed with the Houthis and with the opposite teams within the area which have carried out assaults in opposition to U.S. forces, and have made them conscious of that.”
Houthi leaders have claimed the assaults have been a response to the continuing Israel-Hamas warfare and the Israeli remedy of Palestinians in Gaza, which South Africa lately asserted to the ICJ was genocide. In response to a Houthi-run information company, SABA, Houthi chief Mahdi Al-Mashat mentioned of the strikes:
We are saying to our brothers in Palestine and our folks in Gaza that our blood shouldn’t be extra treasured than your blood, and we’re away from conscience that we are literally collaborating with you, that Palestine shouldn’t be being bombed alone, and we affirm that Palestine after in the present day is not going to be within the battle alone.