Examining the Efficacy of US Airpower in Addressing Yemen, Iraq, and Syria Threats

The US conducted airstrikes on two Houthi drone boats on February 5, according to US Central Command. The US targeted “two Houthi explosive unmanned surface vehicles (USV). The strike is the latest in numerous US strikes against the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen. The Houthis continue to threaten shipping in the Red Sea and off the coast of Yemen. They also have targeted Israel with missiles and drones. The Houthis use drones and missiles to target ships, and the US has preferred strikes to preempt their attacks. The conflict also extends to Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria. The US carried out attacks on 85 sites on February 2 in response to the murder of three Americans in Jordan on January 27. US key partners in the Gulf have been concerned about US policies for years, adding to the uncertainty about US goals in the region. These complex factors add a lot of uncertainty to whether the US can accomplish its goals in Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Will the strikes stop the attacks by the Iranian-backed forces or merely reduce some capabilities? There will be lessons to learn, and it appears the ball is in Iran’s court for now.