The US and UK carried out airstrikes on January 22-23 in Yemen. The strikes were a symbol of the decision by the US and allied countries to show that they mean business when it comes to stopping Iranian-backed Houthi aggression. The Houthis are trying to blockade the Red Sea while allowing Russian and Chinese-linked ships to pass. US Central Command said that US forces, alongside UK Armed Forces, and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, conducted strikes on 8 Houthi targets in Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist-controlled areas of Yemen.
The “Five Eyes” network of countries is cracking down on Houthi attacks and capabilities. Canada, Australia, and the UK are all part of this network, along with the US and New Zealand. The role of Bahrain, which hosts the US Fifth Fleet, in backing the strikes is also important. The strikes targeted several areas in Yemen, including missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, radars, and deeply buried weapons storage facilities.
The strikes against Yemen have now entered a new phase designed to degrade the Houthi’s capabilities. The Houthis have been building up an Iranian-backed arsenal of drones and missiles and using these weapons to target ships. They have become more precise in their targeting over the last several years. Moreover, the Houthis have been stockpiling offensive capabilities for years as part of an Iranian campaign against shipping dating back to 2019. To defeat the Houthis, their missile silos and stockpiles will have to be destroyed.
In addition, the strikes have also targeted air defense systems and areas near airports in Yemen. The UK carried out strikes aimed at degrading Houthi capabilities. The Houthis vowed the attacks will “never go unanswered,” but they may now have fewer weapons to retaliate with.