U.S. Defense officials said U.S. and U.K. ships and warplanes carried out multiple strikes on Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on Monday.
Multiple locations in Yemen experienced large explosions which were the result of the airstrikes.
A U.S. official tells Fox News one of the Houthi targets struck by U.S. and British munitions included Al Dailami Air Base along with missile launching sites and weapons storage facilities for ballistic missiles and drones.
This is the second joint U.S.-U.K. strikes from air and sea since Jan 11.
The strikes consisted of Tomahawk missiles fired from U.S. warships, as well as F-18 fighter jets from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier.
“Today, the militaries of the United States and United Kingdom, at the direction of their respective governments with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, conducted an additional round of proportionate and necessary strikes against 8 Houthi targets in Yemen in response to the Houthis’ continued attacks against international and commercial shipping as well as naval vessels transiting the Red Sea,” a joint statement from the U.S., U.K. and other countries stated.
The statement referred to a series of illegal, dangerous and destabilizing Houthi actions, including anti-ship ballistic missile and unmanned aerial system attacks that struck two U.S.-owned merchant vessels earlier this month.
The “precision strikes” on Monday were intended to “disrupt and degrade” Houthi efforts to threaten global trade and the lives of mariners.
“Today’s strike specifically targeted a Houthi underground storage site and locations associated with the Houthis’ missile and air surveillance capabilities,” the statement read. “The Houthis’ now more than thirty attacks on international and commercial vessels since mid-November constitute an international challenge.
“Our aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea, but let us reiterate our warning to Houthi leadership: we will not hesitate to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways in the face of continued threats,” the joint statement continued.
Defense officials provided more information about the strikes on Monday evening, saying the mission was successful in removing “significant” Houthi capability.
“We can tell you that we observed good impacts and effects at all eight locations. Assessing that we did, in fact, destroy missiles, unmanned aerial systems and weapon storage areas.”
Along with the F-18 super hornets from the USS Eisenhower, guided missile destroyers USS Mason, USS Philippine Sea and USS Gravely assisted with Tomahawk land attack missiles.
The U.K. also contributed fighter aircraft during the mission.
Pentagon officials estimate 25-30 munitions were dropped on Houthi targets, though assessments are ongoing.
The number of Houthi casualties is unknown, but the number is expected to be low, according to U.S. military officials, because the targets were “not intentionally selected for casualties. They were going after weapons systems.”
The Pentagon also said this was the first time the U.S. has struck an underground storage facility of this time in Yemen.
“The particular weapons storage facility was assessed to have more advanced conventional weaponry in it than in the first strike on the 11th,” a senior military official said, adding the facility was used to store missiles and unmanned systems.
Still, the senior official stressed that the U.S. is selecting targets with no intent of expanding the conflict in the Middle East.
“We’re specifically avoiding escalation by selecting these locations and individual targets that will remove capability used in maritime attacks,” the official said. “We are not at this time expanding beyond that.”
There have been at least 151 attacks on U.S. forces in the region since Oct. 17.