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Friday, May 24, 2024

Airstrikes have failed to stop Houthis – Biden

The US president has said that the strikes will continue regardless of their ineffectiveness

US President Joe Biden told reporters on Thursday that American forces would continue to launch military strikes on Houthi targets, even though the campaign is “not stopping” the Yemeni militants from attacking merchant shipping in the Red Sea.

American warships and submarines stationed in the Red Sea fired a wave of missiles at more than a dozen Houthi launch sites in Yemen on Wednesday night, hours after the rebel group struck a US-owned cargo vessel with a drone. US Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East, said that the American bombardment would “degrade the Houthis’ capabilities to continue their reckless attacks on international and commercial shipping.”

Read more: US launches new strikes on Yemen

Asked on Thursday whether strikes on Yemen were working to deter the Houthis, Biden responded: “When you say working, are they stopping the Houthis? No. Are they going to continue? Yes.”

Wednesday’s missile strikes marked the fourth time that US forces have attacked Houthi targets in Yemen since last week. American and British warplanes launched a barrage of around 70 missiles on Houthi targets last Thursday and Friday, with the US launching follow-up strikes on Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Shortly after Biden spoke, Central Command announced that American forces had launched another strike, targeting Houthi missiles it claimed were ready to fire at commercial ships.

Read more: Biden believes Yemen-based Houthis is ‘terrorist’ group

In between these strikes, Houthi forces have continued to attack ships transiting the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The militant group hit a US-owned container ship with a ballistic missile on Monday and a Greek-owned carrier bound for Israel on Tuesday, before hitting the US-owned vessel on Wednesday.