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The US military executed its fifth airstrike against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen on Thursday, successfully destroying two missile launchers, the Pentagon has confirmed.

According to US Central Command (CENTCOM), Navy F-18 fighter aircraft were deployed for the operation. In a statement, CENTCOM said, “US Central Command forces conducted strikes on two Houthi anti-ship missiles that were aimed into the Southern Red Sea and were prepared to launch,” stated the command.

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CENTCOM added that the military identified the missiles as an imminent threat to both merchant and US Navy ships in the region and preemptively struck the targets around 3:40 PM (local time).

This action is part of ongoing US efforts to deter the Houthi rebels, who have been persistently targeting commercial vessels in the Red Sea since mid-November, coinciding with the escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Despite these US-led countermeasures, including the initial airstrikes on January 11 involving American and British warplanes and ships, the Houthis have continued their assaults. President Biden, acknowledging the persistence of the Houthi attacks, affirmed that the US strikes would continue until they stop.

Addressing questions about the Pentagon’s ongoing military actions, Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh stated, “We will continue to respond if we need to.” Singh also acknowledged that the cessation of Houthi attacks was not an immediate expectation following the initial strikes and noted that the decision to halt aggressions rests with the Houthis themselves.


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