UK and American forces attacked Iran-backed rebels in Yemen on Thursday night using warships, fighter jets and submarines.
Britains RAF launched strikes against Houthi military facilities in response to a series of attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea.
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The move, according, to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, was in ‘self-defence’. He said the UK will ‘always stand up for freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade’.
The Mail Online reports: President Biden also hailed the ‘successful’ blitz – which was aided by Australia, Bahrain, Canaa and the Netherlands- and vowed more action if it was needed.
The Ministry of Defence said coalition forces identified key facilities involved in the rebels’ targeting of HMS Diamond and US Navy vessels on Tuesday ‘and agreed to conduct a carefully coordinated strike to reduce the Houthis’ capability to violate international law in this manner’.
Explosions were heard in the capital Sana’a and other major cities including Hodeida and Saada shortly before midnight on an evening where tensions in the Middle East escalated drastically, with US officials admitting they were expecting a response from rebels.
More than a dozen sites were bombed by Western forces, in raids which included submarine-launched Tomahawk missiles and fighter jets.
The four RAF Typhoons used Paveway IV guided bombs to ‘conduct precision strikes’ on two targets that had been chosen to ‘reduce the Houthis’ capability to violate international law’. They were assisted by an RAF Voyager refuelling plane.
One of the targets was a launching site for reconnaissance and attack drones in Bani, north-western Yemen. Another was an airfield in Abbs in the same area of Yemen.
US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said the airstrikes also targeted sites associated with the Houthi’s unmanned drone, ballistic and cruise missile, coastal radar and air surveillance capabilities.
Officials said the Houthi rebels, who have carried out a series of attacks in the Red Sea to disrupt shipping, had ignored a ‘final warning’ as Mr Sunak signed off on the raids during an emergency cabinet meeting last night.
Iran has been involved in ‘every phase’ of the Houthi attacks in recent months, a US official added.