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US destroys Houthi cruise missiles in self-defense strikes


Daily Caller News Foundation

The U.S. destroyed three more missiles the Iran-backed Houthis had prepared to fire at international shipping on Wednesday in self-defense strikes since Saturday, when the U.S. and United Kingdom carried out a round of large-scale counterattacks, according to a statement.

The military executed self-defense strikes on Sunday and Monday but the Houthis still managed to launch at least two attacks on commercial vessels since the major counterstrikes, according to statements. Then, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces destroyed two mobile anti-ship cruise missiles and a land-attack cruise missile poised to launch against military and commercial vessels in the Red Sea, the military said in a statement Thursday.

“CENTCOM identified these missiles in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined they presented an imminent threat to U.S. Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region. These actions will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy and merchant vessels.”

At 11:30 p.m. local time Wednesday, CENTCOM struck a land-attack cruise missile prepared to launch, according to the statement. Earlier that evening, at 9 p.m. Sanaa time, U.S. forces carried out “self-defense strikes” against two mobile anti-ship cruise missiles.

On Tuesday, the Iran-backed Houthis fired six anti-ship ballistic missiles toward the Red Sea, CENTCOM said. Three of them were aimed at the Marshall Island-flagged, Greek owned-and-operated bulk carrier MV Star Nasia — one missed and one detonated near the ship causing minor damage. The USS Laboon, a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer patrolling the area, shot down the third.

The remaining three were “likely” targeting a Barbados-flagged, United Kingdom-owned cargo ship the MV Morning Tide but splashed into waters near the ship without any damage or injuries.

The day before, U.S. forces destroyed two explosive-laden sea drones in Houthi-controlled Yemen after CENTCOM “determined they presented an imminent threat to U.S. Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region,” a statement read.

Hours after the U.S. and United Kingdom carried out the third wave of large-scale strikes against some deeply hidden targets in Yemen on Saturday, the Houthis had prepared missiles to launch that U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces subsequently destroyed.

The Department of Defense’s military intelligence agency made public Wednesday a report detailing Houthi drones and missiles derived from Iranian weapons, highlighting the close cooperation between Tehran and one of its major proxies.

The U.S. doesn’t intend to “completely eliminate” the Iran-backed Houthi rebel capabilities in Yemen, Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said Monday.

“Our goal is not to completely eliminate the capabilities of Houthi forces. Our goal is to disrupt and degrade their ability to conduct these attacks,” Ryder said.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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