Gaza War Expands As US, UK Warplanes Bomb Houthi Strongholds In Yemen

Reuters and VOA are reporting that US and UK warplanes have begin striking Houthi targets in Yemen, in what marks the first major regional expansion of the Gaza war. According to Politico:

The U.S. and U.K, with support from Australia, the Netherlands, Bahrain, and Canada, conducted joint strikes tonight against Houthi targets in Yemen, per DOD official. Strikes involved U.S. aircraft, ships and submarines.

The Telegraph has also reported British fighters and ships are participating in the military action against the Houthis. There are incoming reports of large airstrikes in major Yemeni cities. Unverified videos have begun coming in via social media. The below video is unconfirmed at this early stage:

One Mideast correspondent remarks that “we have gone from US prioritizing an end to war in Yemen to US getting involved against rebels in control of Yemen. Regional ramifications of both Yemen and Gaza wars on full display, with heavy toll on trade, maritime navigation.”

Al Arabiya has reported that there are “Violent air strikes on the vicinity of Hodeidah city” and Sanaa has also been bombed.

There are emerging reports that US bases in Iraq may be coming under attack. Also, the Houthis say they are hitting back against Western warships in the Red Sea.

Like pretty much all of America’s last twenty something years of the ‘war on terror,’ Congress has been sidelined once again…

The President needs to come to Congress before launching a strike against the Houthis in Yemen and involving us in another middle east conflict. That is Article I of the Constitution. I will stand up for that regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican is in the White House.
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) January 11, 2024

Meanwhile…

CNN host (and the wife of a Citigroup banker) @ErinBurnett is openly celebrating US strikes Yemen tonight

“Finally!” She exclaimed to guests, as US troops hunker down for World War III pic.twitter.com/vtrruYntRY
— Anya Parampil (@anyaparampil) January 12, 2024

Update(1730ET): It begins… and a White House statement is also expected imminently:

UK’S SUNAK AUTHORIZES JOINT MILITARY STRIKES AGAINST HOUTHIS

And the Times (UK) reported an hour ago:

Britain expected to join U.S in carrying airstrikes on Houthi military positions in Yemen on Thursday night — Times

The Houthis have said they are not scared of US and UK threats. While the US does not confirm future military operations before they happen, Reuters has the following details from the British side:

Britain is expected to join the United States in conducting air strikes on military positions belonging to the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen "within hours", the political editor for the Times newspaper reported on Thursday.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Downing Street office did not respond to a request from Reuters for comment, while the Pentagon and the White House each declined to comment on the report.

⚡️An official in the military wing of Ansar Allah Houthis: American spy aircraft are currently flying south of the Red Sea
— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) January 11, 2024

Western coalition fighter jets reportedly airborne…

US, UK strikes against Houthis seem imminent. Arabiya reporting on American, British fighter jets in Yemen airspace vicinity...
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) January 11, 2024

Update(1710ET): The administration is expected to imminently launch airstrikes against Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis following the repeat attacks on both commercial shipping and US and coalition warships in the Red Sea.

Breaking reports say strikes are expected “shortly” – however, there’s been some confusion and contradictory statements over whether President Biden will given an address. Choreographed statements are expected from the UK and other international allies as well.

Yemeni military sources have warned that “Any attack carried out by the UK on Yemen, will be met with harsh & “painful strikes on all British bases, battleships, ships and navigation” a threat that’s been extended to the US as well.

Nobody knows what the White House is doing, especially not the White House. https://t.co/eI2GmntH1o
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 11, 2024

Chatter and rumors are growing on reports that the Western coalition is cobbling together a plan to go on the offensive against continuing Houthi attacks in the Red Sea… “If approved in the emergency UK cabinet meeting tonight, the military action will be in partnership with the US against Houthi forces in Yemen,” journalist Halah Jaber, formerly of the Sunday Times, has reported on X.

Additionally, al-Arabiya has reported Thursday afternoon that the US military is “stepping up its contingency plans for a response to Yemen’s Houthis in the near future” while also noting that Washington’s “multiple warnings” have failed to stop the attacks.

BREAKING: #UK preparing to carry out strikes against #Yemen’s #Ansarullah
— Hala Jaber (@HalaJaber) January 11, 2024

⚡️#BREAKING Rishi Sunak is holding a full cabinet meeting at 7.45 this evening

Ministers believe it’s about UK and US military strikes against the Houthis in Yemen
— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) January 11, 2024

So far there’s been a lot of empty threats and posturing from Western defense leaders, but after at least 25 significant missile and drone attack incidents against commercial vessels and shipping lanes in the Red Sea, there’s yet to be one instance of US or UK or other coalition warships hitting back directly against Houthi launch positions.

As predicted, the Iran-aligned Houthis have only grown bolder:

The leader of Yemen’s Houthi militia vowed on Thursday to intensify assaults on ships in the Red Sea, Bab El-Mandab, and the Gulf of Aden, only hours after the UN Security Council passed a resolution requesting the Houthis to stop their attacks.

The Houthis have boldly and proudly owned up to directly targeting at least one US Navy warship, and are now vowing more:

And he reiterated threats to attack US Navy vessels more forcefully if they targeted his forces. "The retaliation to any American strike will not only be at the level of the current operation, which included more than 24 drones and multiple missiles, but will be larger," Al-Houthi added.

The referenced Tuesday night attack was the biggest thus far of the war (since Oct.7), and the Houthis said they were specifically trying to hit a US warship amid the barrage of projectiles that also included drones.

Meanwhile a fresh op-ed in The Guardian underscores that the Houthis have already called the West’s bluff regarding to weakness that is ‘Operation Prosperity Guardian’:

But the risks of a Houthi drone getting through are potentially worse, spurring arguments in Washington that the US should take a more active approach.

“If we only sit there in a defensive posture, eventually one of these missiles or drones will get through and kill sailors,” said Michael Allen, a former White House national security policy specialist.

The Houthis can continue bleeding Western navies given they use $20,000 drones to draw a response from $1 million anti-air interceptor missiles.

The Guardian underscores that for this reason it’s “hard to see the emboldened Houthis stopping their campaign, given their access to relatively cheap missiles and drones and desire to show resistance to the west.”

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