Biden administration to escalate military efforts against Houthi rebels in Yemen

In retaliation for Israel's pursuit of Hamas militants responsible for killing 1,200 Israelis on October 7, the militant group has threatened ongoing attacks on vessels near the Arabian Peninsula.

Biden administration to escalate military efforts against Houthi rebels in Yemen
AP Photo
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The Biden administration is reportedly intensifying its military actions against the Iran-supported Houthi militants in Yemen, following the ineffectiveness of initial airstrikes to halt the group's attacks.

In retaliation for Israel's pursuit of Hamas militants responsible for killing 1,200 Israelis on October 7, the militant group has threatened ongoing attacks on vessels near the Arabian Peninsula.

Over recent months, the Houthis have carried out numerous assaults on commercial ships in the Red Sea region, including the seizure of at least one major cargo ship connected to Israel. These acts of terrorism by the Houthis have affected thousands of vessels, forcing them to take considerably lengthier paths to their intended destinations.

The Washington Post has stated that the strategy of the administration was to “erode the Houthis’ high-level military capability enough to curtail their ability to target shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden or, at a minimum, to provide a sufficient deterrent so that risk-averse shipping companies will resume sending vessels through the region’s waterways.”

American officials informed the newspaper that although they do not expect the U.S. operation against the Houthis to be protracted, they are uncertain about the duration required to fully diminish their capability to fire anti-ship ballistic missiles.

“We’re not trying to defeat the Houthis. There’s no appetite for invading Yemen,” a U.S. diplomat told the Post. “The appetite is to degrade their ability to launch these kind of attacks going forward, and that involves hitting the infrastructure that enables these kind of attacks, and targeting their higher-level capabilities.”

Authorities stated that military operations by the U.S. and British forces in the nation had "significantly degrad[ed]" the military capabilities of the Houthis. However, there remain some weapons that the coalition forces need to locate and eliminate.

“It’s impossible to forecast exactly what’s going to happen, and certainly not [to predict] future operations,” a senior U.S. official said. “But the principle that it simply can’t be tolerated for a terrorist organization … with these advanced capabilities to essentially shut down or control shipping through a key international choke point is one that we feel very strongly about.”

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