On Wednesday, the US military launched its fourth attack against Houthi terrorists within a week. US Central Command said that 14 missiles were ready to be launched.
As part of the ongoing multi-national effort to protect freedom of navigation and prevent attacks against U.S. and partners maritime traffic in Red Sea, U.S. Central Command conducted strikes on 14 Iran-backed Houthi rockets that were being loaded to be launched in Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen. The missiles were a direct threat to the U.S. Navy and merchant ships in the area and could have fired at any moment. This prompted U.S. Forces to use their inherent right to self-defense. The Houthi will be unable to carry out their reckless attacks against international and commercial shipping on the Red Sea and in the Gulf of Aden if we do not take these strikes and other actions.
The strikes don’t seem to be linked to any specific event. The Houthis launched an antiship cruise missile against the USS Laboon on Thursday (which was intercepted and destroyed by a US fighter plane), then they fired a ballistic missile at m/v Gibraltar Eagle, whose US flag is registered in the Marshall Islands. They hit the US-owned, Marshall Islands-flagged container ship M/V Genco Picardy today with a suicide drone. Central Command describes ships with Marshall Islands registration as “US operated”, which is a reflection of the US-Marshall Islands relationship.
The Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is responsible for the safety and security of US mariners. Shipping has been absent from the news in the last week.
These attacks in the Red Sea are unlawful and reckless. The safety of U.S. mariners is our priority, and DOT’s Maritime Administration is in coordination with DOD and U.S.-flagged vessels to ensure their security. https://t.co/3eCNrU8NvS
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) January 11, 2024
The last strike also targeted Houthi missiles that were preparing to launch. The same language of “imminent danger” was used.
I must admit that I am a bit confused about the goals of this strategy. The major attack of January 11 was leaked more than 12 hours in advance to the media.
The shameful timidity of the Biden National Security Council under Jake Sullivan has been one of its hallmarks. This was demonstrated by the prolonged war in Ukraine, because Sullivan was terrified of all eleventy seven “red lines” that Vladimir Putin or his catchfarts had declared and failed to act upon. It was the same. The US and UK had attacked last night, was revealed hours before the strike. It gave time for critical personnel to flee and equipment to be moved.
Whack-a mole is not a game that you can win. This will not stop the Houthis from launching further attacks. It will also not allow commercial traffic on the Red Sea because insurance companies and ship owners cannot take the risk that the US military can detect every Houthi rocket preparing to be launched.
Biden’s team of national security advisers has chosen a course of action that is designed to disrupt the international supply chain and encourage the Houthis to launch more attacks.