US military says conducted strike against Houthi missile from Yemen

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US forces struck and destroyed a Houthi surface-to-air missile in Yemen on Friday after deciding it posed an “imminent threat” to American aircraft, the US Central Command in the Middle East announced.

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The Iran-backed Houthis, who control much of war-torn Yemen, have been attacking shipping in the Red Sea since November in a campaign they say is in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war.

The United States is spearheading a naval coalition to protect vessels in the vital waterway, and has also conducted air strikes in Houthi territory, both on its own and alongside Britain.

On Friday afternoon, US “forces conducted a self-defense strike against one Iranian-backed Houthi surface-to-air missile that was prepared to launch,” CENTCOM said in a statement, adding it had “determined (the missile) presented an imminent threat to US aircraft in the region.”

It went on to say that the Houthis on Friday night launched an anti-ship missile into the Red Sea, but “There was no impact or damage to any vessels.”

Last weekend, US and British forces carried out strikes against 18 Houthi targets across eight locations in Yemen, including weapons storage facilities, attack drones, air defense systems, radars and a helicopter, according to a joint statement.

One person was killed and eight wounded in the attacks, the Houthis’ official news agency said on Sunday.

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