US, British forces carry out new strikes in Yemen

WASHINGTON: US and British forces carried out a fresh round of strikes on Monday (Jan 22) in Yemen, targeting a Houthi underground storage site as well as missile and surveillance capabilities used by the Iran-aligned group against Red Sea shipping, the Pentagon said.

The Houthis, who control the most populous parts of Yemen, have said their attacks are in solidarity with Palestinians as Israel strikes Gaza.

The Houthi attacks have disrupted global shipping and stoked fears of global inflation. They have also deepened concern that fallout from the Israel-Hamas war could destabilise the Middle East.

In the latest response, US and British forces carried out eight strikes, with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands, according to a joint statement signed by the six countries.

“These precision strikes are intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities that the Houthis use to threaten global trade and the lives of innocent mariners,” the joint statement said.

British Defence Minister Grant Shapps said in a statement that the strikes were carried out in self-defence.

“This action will deal another blow to their limited stockpiles and ability to threaten global trade,” Shapps said.

So far, multiple rounds of strikes over the past month have failed to stop Houthi attacks against shipping.

Container vessels have been pausing or diverting from the Red Sea that leads to the Suez Canal, the fastest freight route from Asia to Europe. Many ships have been forced to take the longer route via the Cape of Good Hope instead.

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