The US has unleashed a new wave of strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen.
The blitz on Friday came a day after initial strikes against over 60 targets used by the Iranian-backed rebels to attack ships in waters near the Arabian Peninsula.
The second round of bombing was much smaller in scale and targeted a Houthi radar facility, an official confirmed. It came after the Houthis fired at least one anti-ship missile earlier the same day.
Biden had vowed to continue the bombardment if the Houthis refused to cease attacking vessels in the Red Sea.
But in New York City protests erupted after demonstrators swarmed First Avenue near the United Nations Yemen Mission to condemn the attack.
The US deployed a new round of strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen on Friday, targeting a radar facility
Shortly after protesters descended on the United Nations Yemen Mission in New York to condemn the strike
The raid on the radar facility came after the Houthis launched an anti-ship ballistic missile in retaliation for the overnight strikes by US and British forces on Thursday
The latest round of strikes were smaller in scale than the initial wave seen on Thursday. Protesters gathered to demand an end to all strikes.
The official confirmed the latest strikes were conducted unilaterally by the US.
The blitz on Thursday was a cooperative effort between the US, UK and other allied nations and struck more than 60 targets. They killed five people and wounded six more, a spokesman for the Houthi military told CNN.
But US officials determined the additional location, a radar site, still presented a threat to maritime traffic, one official said.
President Joe Biden said on Friday that the American airstrikes against the Houthi in Yemen were a success, adding that he’s delivered a message to Iran with them.
‘I don’t think there’s any civilian casualties — that’s another reason why it’s a success,’ Biden told reporters traveling with him in Pennsylvania.
The White House has said the airstrikes in Yemen, most of which is controlled by the Houthis, were in retaliation for months of attacks by the movement on Red Sea shipping that the rebels cat as a response to the ongoing war in Gaza.
However their targets have become increasingly random and caused disruption to global shipping channels.
When asked if he has a message for Iran, Biden said: ‘I’ve already delivered the message to Iran.’
The president also noted Tehran ‘doesn’t want a war with us,’ but said he is willing to bomb the Houthi again if they keep striking at American troops.
Biden had warned of further bombardment if the Houthis did not stop attacking vessels in the Red Sea. Pictured: A northern facility along the coast in Yemen on January 12, 2024 after airstrikes by the United States and Britain
‘We will make sure we respond to the Houthis if they continue this outrageous behavior,’ he said.
Army Lt. Gen. Douglas A. Sims II, director of operations for the Joint Staff, said joint forces from the U.S. and United Kingdom launched more than 150 munitions from both maritime and air platforms against more than 16 locations controlled by the Iranian-backed militants on Thursday.
‘At this point, we continue to conduct battle damage assessment of the various targets,’ Sims said. ‘We feel very confident about where our munitions struck.’
The deliberate strikes, which were carried out with nonoperational support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands, were assessed to have hit multiple targets across each location.
Those targets included command and control nodes, munitions depots, launching systems, production facilities and air defense radar systems used by the Houthi’s to carry out attacks against vessels operating in international waters.
‘We know precisely the capability that the Houthis have been employing against the Red Sea and the Bab al Mandab,’ Sims said. ‘This was solely designed to get after the capability that is impeding international freedom of navigation in international waters. We feel pretty confident we did good work on that.’
Biden was also criticized by members of his own party for failing to talk to Congress prior to executing the strikes
The large scale strikes on Thursday came after the Houthis carried out their 27th attack on a vessel since November 19, by firing an anti-ship missile into the Gulf of Aden.
In response the Houthis vowed to make the US and its allies ‘pay absolutely and without hesitation’.
President Biden also faced criticism at home for failing to appear before Congress prior to executing the strikes.
Anti-war protests also cropped up including at Times Square in New York , where demonstrators called on the White House to end the bombing amid fears it could escalate into all out war.