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US destroys drones, missiles in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen

By AFP - Jun 09,2024 - Last updated at Jun 09,2024

Yemenis brandishing rifles take part in a solidarity march with the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip, in the Houthi-run capital Sanaa on Friday (AFP photo)

WASHINGTON — American forces destroyed four drones and two anti-ship ballistic missiles in areas of Yemen controlled by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, the US military said on Friday.

The Houthis have been targeting vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November 2023 in attacks they say are in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

The attacks pose a significant security threat to a key international shipping lane, and the United States and Britain have since January carried out strikes aimed at degrading the Houthis' ability to target shipping.

"US Central Command [USCENTCOM] forces successfully destroyed four UASs and two ASBMs in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen," the military command said in a social media post, using abbreviations for unmanned aircraft systems and anti-ship ballistic missiles.

"USCENTCOM forces also successfully destroyed one UAS launched from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen into the Bab Al Mandab Strait," CENTCOM said, adding that American forces also destroyed a Houthi patrol boat.

The Houthis launched four anti-ship ballistic missiles over the Red Sea within the past 24 hours, but “there were no injuries or damage reported by US, coalition, or commercial ships”, the military command said.

Houthi attacks have sent insurance costs spiraling for vessels transiting the Red Sea and prompted many shipping firms to take the far longer passage around the southern tip of Africa instead.

Houthi television channel Al Massirah meanwhile said there were air strikes in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and elsewhere in the country on Friday, but the reports could not be independently confirmed, and it was unclear if they were related to the incidents described by CENTCOM.

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