According to CENTCOM’s statement, joint strikes were carried out on Houthi targets in the early hours of Jan. 11 at 2:30 a.m. (Sanaa time). The operation, which involved collaboration with the United Kingdom and received support from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and Bahrain, aimed to degrade the Houthi capability to carry out illegal and reckless attacks on both U.S. and international vessels, as well as commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

Indian Navy stands alone as guardian in Indian Ocean Indian Navy stands alone as guardian in Indian Ocean

The multinational action specifically targeted radar systems, air defense systems, as well as storage and launch sites for one-way attack unmanned aerial systems, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. The strikes were a response to the continuous attempts by Iranian-backed Houthi militants to harass and attack ships in international shipping lanes since Oct. 17, 2023.

CENCOM highlighted Houthi militants have made 27 attempts to target ships, utilizing various means such as anti-ship ballistic missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and cruise missiles in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. These aggressive actions, which have endangered the lives of mariners from 55 nations, prompted the multinational response.

It is important to note that these strikes are distinct from Operation Prosperity Guardian, a defensive coalition involving over 20 countries currently operating in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandeb Strait, and Gulf of Aden. Operation Prosperity Guardian aims to ensure the safety and security of international shipping routes in the region.

General Michael Erik Kurilla, the Commander of U.S. Central Command, addressed the situation, holding the Houthi militants and their Iranian sponsors responsible for the illegal, indiscriminate, and reckless attacks. He emphasized that the actions of the Houthi militants will not be tolerated, and those responsible will be held accountable for their destabilizing activities that have put countless lives at risk.

US President Joe Biden said he ordered the strikes in response to “unprecedented” attacks by the Yemen-based militants on commercial ships in the Red Sea. Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands also supported the operation.

“These targeted strikes are a clear message that the United States and our partners will not tolerate attacks on our personnel or allow hostile actors to imperil freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most critical commercial routes,” Biden said.