The US President said that the strikes will continue regardless of their ineffectiveness
US President Joe Biden told reporters on Thursday that US forces will continue to launch military strikes on Houthi targets, even though the campaign continues. “Do not stop” Yemeni militants attack commercial ships in the Red Sea.
US 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 evening, hours after the rebel group struck a US-owned cargo ship with a drone. US Central Command, which oversees US military operations in the Middle East, said there would be US bombing “Undermining the Houthis' capabilities to continue their reckless attacks on international and commercial shipping.”
When asked on Thursday whether air strikes on Yemen were effective in deterring the Houthis, Biden responded: “When you say we work, will they stop the Houthis? No. Will they last? Yes.”
The missile strikes that took place on Wednesday were the fourth time that US forces attacked Houthi targets in Yemen since last week. US and British warplanes launched a barrage of about 70 missiles at Houthi targets last Thursday and Friday, with the United States launching follow-up strikes on Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Shortly after Biden spoke, Central Command announced that US forces had launched another strike, targeting Houthi missiles that they claimed were ready to be launched at commercial ships.
In between these strikes, Houthi forces continued to attack ships crossing the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The militant group struck a US-owned container ship with a ballistic missile on Monday and a Greek-owned tanker bound for Israel on Tuesday, before striking the US-owned ship on Wednesday.
Houthi forces have attacked dozens of commercial ships since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas, and pledged to continue until the end of the war and the lifting of the Israeli siege on Gaza. While the militants initially said they would only target “Linked to Israel” Ships or ships heading to Israeli ports, a Houthi spokesman said this week that in order to target a ship, “It's enough to be American.”
About 15% of global shipping traffic uses the Red Sea and the Suez Canal to move between the Arabian Sea and the Mediterranean. In response to the Houthi attacks, major carriers, including Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM, and Hapag-Lloyd, have rerouted their ships around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa – a much longer route between Asia and Europe.
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