US says it destroyed a Houthi missile “preparing to launch into the Red Sea”

The United States announced a defensive strike to destroy a surface-to-air missile from the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen that was "preparing to launch towards the Red Sea"

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The US Central Command (CENTCOM) made a statement on the issue on the X social media platform.

At around 12:40 a.m. local time yesterday, CENTCOM forces detected a surface-to-air missile “preparing to launch towards the Red Sea” from Houthi-controlled territory and launched a self-defense strike on the grounds that it posed a threat to US aircraft in the area, the statement said.

It was also noted that the Houthis launched an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) from Yemen to the Red Sea at 22:46 local time, and no damage was caused to any ship.

Situation in the Red Sea

On October 31, 2023, the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen began seizing commercial ships belonging to Israeli companies off the coast of Yemen and attacking some of them with drones and missiles in response to Israel’s attacks in Gaza.

US forces have reported shooting down missiles and kamikaze drones fired from Yemen several times during this period.

Following the Houthi actions, many shipping companies decided to suspend their services in the Red Sea.

On December 18, 2023, the United States announced the formation of a multinational “maritime task force” called “Operation Welfare Guardian” against Houthi forces with the participation of a group of countries on the grounds that global maritime trade security was endangered.

On December 31, 2023, US helicopters fired on 3 speedboats belonging to the Houthis as they tried to seize an Israeli-linked ship in the Red Sea.

On January 10, the Houthis announced the targeting of a US ship in the Red Sea with missiles and kamikaze drones for supporting Israel.

On January 11, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution submitted by the United States and Japan calling for an immediate end to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea.

Around 12 percent of global trade is conducted through the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, making it the shortest route between Europe and Asia.

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