US strikes Houthi missile sites in retaliation for Red Sea attacks

by Tommy Grant

The U.S. and the Iran-backed Houthi movement continued to volley strikes on Tuesday, with the U.S. taking out four ballistic missiles that were preparing to attack ships in the Red Sea, two U.S. officials confirmed to Military Times.

The U.S. strike on Tuesday morning followed a Monday Houthi attack on M/V Gibraltar Eagle ― a Marshall Islands-flagged, U.S.-owned and operated container ship.

“These missiles were prepared to launch from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and presented an imminent threat to both merchant and U.S. Navy ships in the region,” the official said.

The Houthis returned fire Tuesday afternoon.

“M/V Zografia, a Maltese flagged bulk carrier, reported they were struck, but seaworthy, and were continuing their Red Sea transit,” the official said, adding there were no injuries reported.

Houthis have launched approximately 30 strikes against ships in the Red Sea since late 2023. Most have missed their targets, but the terrorizing of shipping lanes has caused the U.S. to launch an international security effort dubbed Operation Prosperity Guardian, while shipping companies have rerouted some of their vessels to avoid attacks.

“We’re not looking for a war. We’re not looking to expand this,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday. “The Houthis have a choice to make and they still have time to make the right choice, which is stop these reckless attacks.”

The U.S. and U.K. on Thursday launched the first retaliatory attack on the Houthis, hitting 60 targets across 16 sites within Yemen, targeting weapons storage, radar and launching sites.

Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.

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