U.S. Forces Carry Out Fifth Strike on Houthi Launch Sites in Yemen

The destroyer USS Gravely launches a Tomahawk missile in a counterstrike against Houthi targets in Yemen, Jan. 11 (USN)

Published Jan 18, 2024 3:07 PM by The Maritime Executive

Less than 24 hours after striking 14 Houthi missiles on the ground in Yemen, U.S. forces have launched another pre-emptive counterstrike on the group's positions. It is the fifth time that American forces have destroyed Houthi missiles in an attempt to defend against the group's ongoing attacks on shipping. 

In a statement Thursday, U.S. Central Command said that American military assets launched a strike at two Houthi anti-ship missiles that were staged to attack vessels in the Red Sea and were ready to launch. The task force detected the missiles at 1540 hours local time and determined that they posed an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy warships. 

"U.S. forces subsequently struck and destroyed the missiles in self-defense," the command said. 

Houthi rebels have launched dozens of attacks on merchant vessels and warships in the Red Sea since November, when the designated terrorist organization began targeting Israeli-linked shipping in connection with the ongoing Israeli campaign in Gaza. The target list has since broadened to include American-linked shipping, and vessels with no apparent connection with the U.S. or Israel have also been hit. 

Just yesterday, a Houthi suicide drone hit the American-owned bulker GENCO Picardy, starting a fire and scorching part of the deckhouse near the main deck level. The crew were unharmed and the damage did not impede the vessel's ability to navigate. The Indian Navy responded to assure that there was no further risk to the ship, and the vessel is continuing onwards to its destination port.