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US military strikes terrorist missile sites

Lt. Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla at the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) change of command, March 5, 2021, Fort Campbell, Ky. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrea Notter)
January 18, 2024

The U.S. military executed strikes on 14 Iran-backed Houthi terrorist missiles on Wednesday in an effort to prevent Houthi terrorists from launching more attacks on U.S. and commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

U.S. Central Command announced Wednesday that the strikes, which took place at roughly 11:59 p.m. (Sanaa time), were conducted “in the context of ongoing multi-national efforts to protect freedom of navigation and prevent attacks on U.S. and partner maritime traffic in the Red Sea.”

Central Command noted that the 14 Iran-backed missiles targeted by U.S. forces were “loaded” and would have been fired from parts of Yemen controlled by Houthi terrorists.

“These missiles on launch rails presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region and could have been fired at any time, prompting U.S. forces to exercise their inherent right and obligation to defend themselves,” Central Command stated.

According to Central Command, Wednesday’s missile strikes against Houthi targets and the recent series of strikes by the U.S. and its allies will “degrade” the ability of the terrorist organization to continue launching attacks against commercial shipping vessels in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.

READ MORE: US destroyer attacked by Iran-backed terrorists

“The actions by the Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists continue to endanger international mariners and disrupt the commercial shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea and adjacent waterways,” General Michael Erik Kurilla said. “We will continue to take actions to protect the lives of innocent mariners and we will always protect our people.”

While the United States took action last week to deter the Iran-backed Houthis from continuing to harass military and commercial ships in the Middle East, Central Command reported that the terrorist organization launched a one-way attack drone from Yemen that hit the Genco Picardy, a U.S. owned and operated ship, in the Gulf of Aden at roughly 8:30 p.m. (Sanaa time) on Wednesday.

“There were no injuries and some damage reported,” Central Command stated. “M/V Genco Picardy is seaworthy and continuing underway.”

On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department also announced the designation of the Houthis as a terrorist group, noting that Houthi terrorists had “launched unprecedented attacks” against both military and commercial ships in the Middle East since November.

“This designation seeks to promote accountability for the group’s terrorist activities,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. “If the Houthis cease their attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the United States will reevaluate this designation.”