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The U.S. and Britain carry out strikes on 18 Houthi targets in Yemen

This image provided by the U.S. Navy shows an aircraft launching from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea last month. The U.S. and Britain struck more than a dozen Houthi targets in Yemen on Saturday, military officials said.
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kaitlin Watt
/
AP
This image provided by the U.S. Navy shows an aircraft launching from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea last month. The U.S. and Britain struck more than a dozen Houthi targets in Yemen on Saturday, military officials said.

U.S. and British forces carried out more than a dozen strikes against several Houthi sites in Yemen on Saturday, officials said, the latest response to the Iran-backed rebel group's recent attacks on commercial and naval ships in the Red Sea and The Gulf of Aden.

A joint statement from the U.S., U.K. and other allied countries said the strikes were against 18 Houthi targets across eight locations in Yemen, which included underground weapons and missile storage facilities, air defense systems, radars and a helicopter.

The Houthis' attacks, the countries said, "constitute a threat to the global economy, as well as regional security and stability, and demand an international response."

Since November, the militia group's repeated attacks in the region have disrupted a vital trade route, threatening global shipping delays. U.S. officials said last month that more than 2,000 ships have had to reroute to avoid the Red Sea.

The Houthis, who control much of Yemen including the capital Sanaa, have said their attacks off the coast of Yemen are a show of solidarity for Palestinians facing Israeli attacks in Gaza. Many of the ships targeted have no clear link to Israel.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a separate statement: "We will continue to make clear to the Houthis that they will bear the consequences if they do not stop their illegal attacks, which harm Middle Eastern economies, cause environmental damage, and disrupt the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen and other countries."

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