UK and US launch new joint air strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen

The US and UK have launched a second round of air strikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Tony Diver reports

The strikes were launched on Monday night against Houthi missile and drone launching sites in Yemen, a US defence official told the Telegraph, following weeks of assaults by the group against naval and commercial ships in the Bab el-Mandab Strait in the Red Sea.

The air strikes follow a joint US-UK operation launched earlier this month, which saw RAF Typhoon jets join the US Navy and Air Force in bombing 70 sites used by the Iran-backed group to launch missile and drone attacks.

A US defence official told the Telegraph: “The US has participated in strikes against the Houthis, and has targeted infrastructure for striking US maritime forces.”

Both the US and UK previously vowed that their militaries would continue to take military action against the group unless it ended attacks in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

The incidents have seen the price of global shipping increase, as many carriers opt to send their cargo around the African continent, rather than using the strait to reach Europe from Asia.

The Houthis have said the attacks have been carried out in solidarity with Palestine over the war in Gaza, and that they would not stop in the face of a Western military response.

Earlier on Monday, Rishi Sunak spoke with Joe Biden to discuss the ongoing situation in the Middle East and Red Sea in particular.

Downing Street said the leaders “condemned the surge in violent Houthi attacks on commercial ships transiting the area and undertook to continue efforts alongside international partners to deter and disrupt those attacks”.

A spokesman added: “This includes work through the multinational Operation Prosperity Guardian, putting diplomatic pressure on Iran to cease their support of Houthi activity and, as needed, targeted military action to degrade Houthi capabilities.”

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