Early Thursday morning, U.S. military forces, as stated by Central Command, executed a “self-defense” strike against Houthi unmanned aerial vehicles and a ground control station. Centcom reported the identification of a UAV ground control station and multiple UAVs in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, deemed an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region. Consequently, U.S. forces targeted and destroyed the UAV station, neutralizing ten one-way UAVs in self-defense.
Centcom asserted that this action aims to safeguard freedom of navigation, enhancing the safety and security of international waters for both U.S. Navy vessels and merchant vessels. The move aligns with efforts to prevent Iran-backed Houthi militants from disrupting crucial Middle Eastern shipping lanes.
In a related development, Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently announced the reclassification of the Yemeni rebel group as a terrorist organization, part of broader initiatives to counter Houthi attacks. The State Department emphasized that the designation would enable more effective restrictions on the group’s access to financial support. Blinken clarified that the associated restrictions and penalties would take effect after a 30-day delay, designed to minimize the impact on the flow of aid and commercial goods to Yemeni civilians.
It’s worth noting that over 150 rocket and drone attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria, attributed to Iranian-backed militias, have occurred since mid-October. These groups claim their actions are in support of Palestinians during the Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza.