U.S. Launches New Airstrikes Inside Yemen
ALBACETE, CASTILLA-LA MANCHA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22: A U.S. Boeing F-15 Strike Eagle aircraft performs combat air maneuvers in the vicinity of Los Llanos air base, Feb. 22, 2022, in Albacete, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. The maneuvers are conducted during one of the NATO Tactical Leadership Program (TLP) courses, better known as NATO Pilot School. Currently, the TLP organization is made up of ten NATO countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, England, Italy, Spain and the United States, although other nations also participate by contracting their assistance. The pilots take advantage of these practices to prepare themselves for a possible war in Ukraine.
A. Perez Meca / Europa Press via Getty Images

The U.S. announced late on Wednesday that it launched a new wave of airstrikes against the Houthis inside Yemen after the terror group hit a U.S.-owned commercial vessel earlier in the day.

The renewed strikes come after U.S. officials told news outlets in the Middle East that the Houthis had started planning terrorist attacks against U.S. bases in the region.

“In the context of ongoing multi-national efforts to protect freedom of navigation and prevent attacks on U.S. and partner maritime traffic in the Red Sea, on Jan. 17 at approximately 11:59 p.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Central Command forces conducted strikes on 14 Iran-backed Houthi missiles that were loaded to be fired in Houthi controlled areas in Yemen,” U.S. Central Command said in a statement. “These missiles on launch rails presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region and could have been fired at any time, prompting U.S. forces to exercise their inherent right and obligation to defend themselves.”

The statement said that the strikes were intended to degrade the Houthi’s ability to continue their terror attacks on commercial vessels and to prevent attacks on U.S. forces.

General Michael Erik Kurilla, USCENTCOM Commander, said, “The actions by the Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists continue to endanger international mariners and disrupt the commercial shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea and adjacent waterways.”

He added, “We will continue to take actions to protect the lives of innocent mariners and we will always protect our people.”

The Biden administration designated the Houthis as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) group this week, partially reversing course on their decision from 2021 when they removed the group from the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list.

The administration stopped short of re-designating the Houthis as an FTO, which carries significantly harsher penalties than being designated as an SDGT.


A FTO designation makes it illegal for any U.S. persons or entities to provide and kind of material support or resources to a group, including financial, training, hard assets, and even communications. A SDGT designation does not designate an entire group as a terrorist organization, rather it is used to target specific people or entities rather than a larger organization.

The New York Times noted that designating the Houthis as an FTO would have “would have made it far easier to prosecute criminally anyone who knowingly provides the Houthis with money, supplies, training or other ‘material support.’”

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