Israel says 24 soldiers killed in Gaza on deadliest day of invasion: live updates

Israel says 24 soldiers killed in Gaza on deadliest day of invasion: live updates

The United States and Britain carried out large-scale military strikes on Monday against eight sites in Yemen controlled by Houthi militants, according to the two countries. The strikes signal that the Biden administration intends to wage a sustained and, at least for now, unrestricted campaign against the Iran-backed group that has disrupted traffic in vital international shipping lanes.

The strikes – the eighth in nearly two weeks – hit multiple targets at each site and were larger and broader than a recent series of more limited attacks on individual Houthi missiles that the Americans say arose in a brief delay. These missiles were hit before they could be fired at ships in the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden.

But the nighttime strikes planned for Monday, which hit radars, as well as drone and missile sites and underground weapons storage bunkers, were less significant than the initial retaliatory salvos on January 11. They hit more than 60 targets in nearly 30 locations across Yemen. an expansion of conflict in the Middle East that the Biden administration had sought to avoid.

This middle ground reflects the administration’s attempt to reduce the Houthis’ ability to threaten merchant ships and military vessels, but without striking hard enough to kill large numbers of Houthi fighters and commanders, and potentially trigger even more of chaos in a region already in danger. the edge of a wider war.

“Let us reiterate our warning to Houthi leaders: we will not hesitate to defend lives and the free flow of trade in one of the world’s most critical waterways in the face of a persistent threat,” the US and UK governments said in a statement.

They were joined in this statement by the Netherlands, Australia, Canada and Bahrain who, as they did during the January 11 strikes, also participated, providing logistics, intelligence and support. other support, according to US officials.

However, taken together, the US-led strikes, in an operation the military calls Poseidon Archer, have so far failed to deter the Houthis from attacking shipping lanes to to and from the Suez Canal, essential to global trade. The Iran-backed group says it will continue its attacks in what it sees as a protest against Israel’s military campaign in Gaza against Hamas.

Indeed, the Houthis remained defiant Monday following strikes by the Navy’s FA-18 fighter jets, Tomahawk cruise missiles and British Typhoon warplanes. “Retaliation against US and British attacks is inevitable, and any further aggression will not go unpunished,” a Houthi military spokesperson, Yahya Sarea, said in a statement before the latest US strikes.

The Houthis claimed Monday to have attacked a US military cargo ship, the Ocean Jazz, in the Gulf of Aden, but the White House and Pentagon denied such an attack took place.

President Biden said Thursday that U.S. airstrikes against the Houthis would continue. “Are they stopping the Houthis? No,” Mr. Biden said. “Will they continue? Yes.”

On Sunday, Jon Finer, deputy national security adviser, provided an overview of the administration’s emerging strategy toward the Houthis, forged during several high-level meetings at the White House in recent days, officials said. senior American officials.

“They have stockpiles of advanced weapons that have been supplied to them in many cases, or made available to them in many cases, by Iran,” Finer said on “This Week.” from ABC News. “We are removing these stockpiles so that they are not able to carry out as many attacks over time. This will take time to set up.

The U.S.-led air and naval strikes began in response to more than two dozen Houthi drone and missile attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea since November. The administration and several allies had repeatedly warned the Houthis of serious consequences if the salvos did not stop.

But two U.S. officials warned days after the air campaign began that while the Houthis had hit more missile and drone targets with more than 150 precision-guided munitions, the strikes had only damaged or destroyed ‘about 20 to 30 percent of the Houthis’ offensive capacity. much of which is mounted on mobile platforms and can be easily moved or hidden.

A third senior official said Monday that figure may have jumped as much as 30 to 40 percent after at least 25 to 30 precision-guided munitions successfully hit their targets Monday. But other U.S. intelligence officials who have been briefed on the size and scope of the Houthis’ arsenal say analysts aren’t sure how many weapons the group started with.

U.S. and Western intelligence agencies have not spent much time or resources in recent years collecting data on the locations of Houthi air defenses, command centers, munitions depots, and storage and defense facilities. production of drones and missiles, officials said.

This quickly changed after Hamas attacks in Israel on October 7 and Houthi attacks on commercial shipping a month later. U.S. analysts have been racing to list more potential targets for the Houthis every day, the officials said. The effort accomplished many of the goals reached Jan. 11 and Monday, officials said.

Many Republicans in Congress and some former senior U.S. military officials say this approach doesn’t work.

“The key is we have to hurt the Houthis until they stop,” Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the retired head of the Army’s Central Command, said in an interview. “We haven’t done it yet.”

Viviane Néréim contributed reporting from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Avatar photo

Eric D. Eilerman

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read also x