March 2, 2024

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The Houthis hid the missiles and drones, leaving only 75% of them remaining despite US-led airstrikes.

The Houthis hid the missiles and drones, leaving only 75% of them remaining despite US-led airstrikes.

Muhammad Huwais/AFP via Getty Images

  • Despite US attacks, the Houthi rebel group maintains about 75% of its offensive power.
  • The United States targeted the Iran-backed group after its continued attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.
  • The Houthis' targeting of ships was a response to the Israeli war in Gaza after Hamas attacks on October 7.

The Houthi rebels retain about 75% of their missile and drone capabilities despite US-led attacks against the group in Yemen earlier this week. New York times Quoting American officials.

Lt. Gen. Douglas Sims II, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared confident on Friday that the US and British strikes had achieved their intended goal of disrupting the Houthis' offensive capabilities by targeting ammunition depots, missile launch systems and aircraft. Defensive radar systems.

He added: “We know specifically the capabilities that the Houthis are using against the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab.” Sims II said.

He added: “This is designed solely to go after the ability to impede international freedom of navigation in international waters. We are very confident that we have done a good job on this.”

But two unnamed US officials told The Times on Saturday that the operation destroyed or damaged only about 20 to 30 percent of the group's offensive capabilities. Most of its weapons systems can be quickly moved and concealed as they are on mobile platforms, according to the report.

Officials also warned that the Houthis were likely to retaliate, but one said the group appeared divided on how to act.

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“I think the Houthis are trying to understand things on the ground and trying to determine what capabilities they still have,” Sims II said. “I expect they will try to exact some sort of retaliation.”

The United States and the United Kingdom, supported by the Netherlands, Canada, Bahrain and Australia, fired more than 150 missiles into areas controlled by the Iran-backed group in response to its ongoing attacks on ships crossing the Red Sea.

a Joint statement The World Health Organization, which is concerned with the strikes announced by 10 countries on Friday, said that this step came as the Houthis continued to target ships in the Red Sea despite strong warnings calling for them to stop, with the launch of “numerous missiles and attack air vehicles in one direction” on… Ships on January 9. – Including on American and British ships.

The statement added: “Our goal remains to calm tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea.” “But let our message be clear: we will not hesitate to defend lives and ensure the free flow of trade in one of the world’s most important waterways in the face of continuing threats.”

The Houthi attacks began in response to the major Israeli attack on Gaza following the October 7 Hamas attacks.

Nicholas Broomfield, a Middle East policy researcher who focuses on Yemen and maritime security, wrote in a report for The Guardian Foreign Policy Research Institute He added, “The attacks are unlikely to stop, and in fact they may escalate further, as long as the Israeli campaign continues.”

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This has caused major concern about disruption to shipping in the region with some major shipping companies halting operations as attacks escalate.

Insurance costs have also risen for ships traveling through the Red Sea, with more expensive ships likely having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars more per voyage, David Osler, insurance editor at Lloyd's List Intelligence, previously said. Associated Press.