U.S. and U.K. Launch Retaliatory Strikes Against Houthi Forces in Yemen

Aiden Starling

Updated Friday, January 12, 2024 at 12:27 PM CDT

U.S. and U.K. Launch Retaliatory Strikes Against Houthi Forces in Yemen

In a significant escalation of military activity in the Middle East, the United States and British militaries have carried out precision airstrikes against Iranian-backed Houthi forces in Yemen. More than a dozen sites were targeted, including command centers, munitions storage, and air defense systems, with the U.S. Air Force Mideast command hitting over 60 targets at 16 different locations. The operation saw the deployment of Tomahawk missiles and fighter jets from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and other Air Force assets.

Coordinated by the U.S. and U.K., the strikes received logistical and non-operational support from allied nations such as the Netherlands, Canada, and Bahrain. The retaliatory action was a direct response to Houthi aggressions on international maritime vessels in the Red Sea—a critical commercial pathway that connects Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. President Joe Biden authorized the military response following Houthi drone and missile attacks on commercial shipping, while U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed the Royal Air Force's involvement in targeted strikes on Houthi military infrastructure.

The U.N. Security Council convened an emergency session, prompted by Russia, to address the situation. Subsequently, the council passed a resolution demanding the immediate cessation of Houthi hostilities. Despite this diplomatic move, Houthi official Ali al-Qahoum threatened further retaliation against U.S. and British forces. The strikes, which were reported by Houthi-run Al-Masirah news, resulted in casualties and wounds among Houthi fighters.

This military operation comes amid Israel's military action in Gaza, which the Houthis claim to be countering. The U.S.-led maritime mission, Operation Prosperity Guardian, has garnered support from over 20 nations to safeguard shipping routes against Houthi threats. Despite the Biden administration's warnings of consequences should Houthi attacks continue, there has been a cautious approach to military escalation due to potential destabilization of the Yemen ceasefire and sparking a wider conflict.

The Biden administration briefed Congress on the airstrikes, viewing them as necessary defensive actions, although skepticism remains among experts and national security officials regarding their effectiveness in preventing further escalation. Allegations of war crimes tied to the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led campaign in Yemen have raised concerns, and there is fear that hostilities could spread to other countries in the region.

Criticism has emerged from figures such as former State Department attorney Brian Finucane, who denounced the administration's reluctance to acknowledge the connection between U.S. support for Israel in Gaza and the wider regional conflict. The International Crisis Group, with Finucane, asserts that recognizing this link does not validate the actions of Houthi or other groups in the region. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has refrained from altering Israel's response to an earlier Hamas attack.

As the Yemen strike garners support from nations like Bahrain, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands, it simultaneously stirs congressional unease with Biden's Middle East policies. Lawmakers on both sides have raised concerns over the legal basis for the strikes and the risk of escalation. Democrats, while disapproving of the Houthis and Iran's anti-U.S. posture, are keen to avoid another large-scale Middle East conflict. The Senate is poised to address a proposal to scrutinize Israel's actions in Gaza and assess regional human rights practices, signaling a contentious period ahead for U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Conservative Bias:

Once again, the U.S. is forced to act as the world's police because of the reckless behavior of Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists, who have the audacity to disrupt international trade routes. Thank goodness we have a strong military to respond to these provocations. The Biden administration, typically soft on terror, finally had no choice but to authorize precision strikes, though they probably did so begrudgingly. It's clear that the liberal agenda would rather appease these militants than protect global interests and American security. The Democrats' weakness has only emboldened our enemies, and now we're left cleaning up their mess, while they worry about "escalation" and "war crimes" instead of victory. If the left had their way, they'd probably send apologies and aid to the Houthis instead of the missiles they deserve.

Liberal Bias:

Here we go again, the military-industrial complex flexing its muscles with yet another display of unnecessary force, all while claiming it's in defense of "international security." The Biden administration, following in the footsteps of its hawkish predecessors, is now deepening our involvement in Yemen, a country already devastated by conflict partly fueled by our own government's actions. This airstrike is nothing more than a continuation of the U.S.'s aggressive foreign policy, which prioritizes military might over diplomacy and humanitarian concerns. It's no wonder there's skepticism about the effectiveness of these strikes – they're more likely to provoke further violence than bring about peace. And let's not forget the hypocrisy of the U.S. government, which remains silent on Israel's actions in Gaza while preaching about human rights. Democrats in Congress may express unease, but their hand-wringing does little to stop the cycle of violence our country perpetuates.

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