US carries out five strikes in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen

US says it hit three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, one unmanned underwater vessel and one unmanned surface vessel.

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney
The US Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney defeats a combination of Houthi missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles in the Red Sea [Aaron Lau/US Navy/AFP]

The United States has conducted five strikes in areas of Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels, US Central Command (CENTCOM) has said.

It said it struck three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, one unmanned surface vessel, and one unmanned underwater vessel (UUV) on Saturday.

“This is the first observed Houthi employment of a UUV since attacks began on Oct. 23,” CENTCOM said in a post on X on Sunday.

CENTCOM said it had determined the missiles and vessels presented an imminent threat to US Navy ships and merchant vessels in the area.

There was no immediate comment from the Iran-aligned Houthi group.

The strikes come amid heightened tensions in the region, where Houthi fighters have carried out attacks on commercial and military shipping since November.

The Houthis initially said that they would target Israel-linked ships in a show of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, but later expanded their targets to include vessels linked to the United Kingdom and the US.

London and Washington have responded by hitting Houthi targets in Yemen multiple times, characterising the Houthi attacks as indiscriminate and a threat to global trade.

On Saturday, the Houthis claimed responsibility for a missile attack on a British oil tanker that the US identified as a Panamanian-flagged vessel carrying crude oil bound for India.

Faced with mounting Red Sea insecurity, major shipping lines have largely abandoned the critical trade route for longer routes around Africa. This has increased costs, feeding worries about global inflation while sapping Egypt of crucial foreign revenue from shippers using the Suez Canal to or from the Red Sea.

“While we continue to hope for a sustainable resolution in the near future and do all we can to contribute towards it, we do encourage customers to prepare for complications in the area to persist and for there to be significant disruption to the global network,” shipping giant Maersk said in January.

Source: News Agencies