President Joe Biden Addresses Coalition Strikes in Houthi-Controlled Areas in Yemen

231221-N-CK669-1045 RED SEA (Dec. 21, 2023) Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burk-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) holds a phone and distance line during a replenishment-at-sea with the Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196) in the Red Sea while Mason operates in support of Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG), Dec. 21. Led by Combined Task Force 153 of Combined Maritime Forces, OPG represents a focused, international effort to address maritime security challenges in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, with the goal of ensuring freedom of navigation for all countries and bolstering regional security. More than 20 countries are taking part in the operation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chris Krucke)

Written from press relase

Washington – January 11, 2023

In a joint effort with the United Kingdom, and supported by Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, U.S. military forces, under the direction of President Joe Biden, have successfully executed strikes against key targets in Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels, according to the White House. The purpose of these strikes is to counter the Houthi threat to freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most crucial waterways.

The decision to launch these strikes comes in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks on international maritime vessels in the Red Sea, including the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles—an action recorded for the first time in history, according to the White House. President Biden highlighted that these attacks have not only put U.S. personnel at risk but have also endangered civilian mariners, threatened global trade, and compromised freedom of navigation.

Over the past months, more than 50 nations have been affected by 27 attacks on international commercial shipping, with crews from over 20 countries facing threats or being taken hostage in acts of piracy. The impact has forced more than 2,000 ships to divert thousands of miles to avoid the Red Sea, resulting in significant delays in product shipping times. Notably, the Houthis’ recent attack on January 9 specifically targeted American ships, prompting the response, according to the White House.

President Biden emphasized the united response of the international community to these attacks. Operation Prosperity Guardian, launched last month, involves a coalition of over 20 nations committed to defending international shipping and deterring Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. In addition, more than 40 nations condemned Houthi threats, and a resolution from the United Nations Security Council demanded an end to Houthi attacks on merchant and commercial vessels.

The defensive action taken today follows an extensive diplomatic campaign and the Houthi rebels’ escalating attacks against commercial vessels, according to the White House. President Biden conveyed that these targeted strikes send a clear message that the United States and its partners will not tolerate attacks on personnel or allow hostile actions to jeopardize freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most critical commercial routes. He affirmed his readiness to direct further measures to protect people and ensure the free flow of international commerce as necessary.

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