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The U.S. military carried out a strike in Yemen on Saturday targeting a Houthi anti-ship missile that was aimed into the Red Sea and prepared to launch, according to U.S. Central Command.

The strike was conducted early Saturday morning in what CENTCOM described as a “self-defense” strike.

“On Jan. 27 at approximately 3:45 a.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Central Command Forces conducted a strike against a Houthi anti-ship missile aimed into the Red Sea and which was prepared to launch,” CENTCOM said in a statement.

US CARRIES OUT ‘SELF-DEFENSE’ STRIKE IN YEMEN AGAINST IRAN-BACKED HOUTHI MISSILES

Houthi fighters

Houthi fighters stage a rally against the U.S. government near Sanaa, Yemen, on Thursday, Jan. 25. (AP/Osamah Abdulrahman)

“U.S. Forces identified the missile in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, and determined it presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and the U.S. Navy ships in the region,” the statement continued. “U.S. Forces subsequently struck and destroyed the missile in self-defense. This action will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy vessels and merchant vessels.”

This comes after Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists fired an anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and struck the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker M/V Marlin Luanda at about 7:45 p.m. Friday night Sanaa time, CENTCOM said. The ship made a distress call and reported damage but no injuries were reported.

HOUTHIS DEMAND US, UK AID WORKERS LEAVE YEMEN WITHIN 30 DAYS FOLLOWING 2ND COALITION STRIKE

Houthi fighters rally against US

Houthi fighters and tribesmen stage a rally against the U.S. and the U.K. strikes on Houthi-run military sites near Sanaa, Yemen. (AP)

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The attack against the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker is the 38th attack by the Houthis since November 19 and the second attack on Friday.

The Houthis’ Al-Masirah satellite news channel said the strikes happened near the port city of Hodeida.

Fox News’ Liz Friden contributed to this report.

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