US strikes more Houthi missiles

US forces carried out "self-defense strikes" on Wednesday against Houthi missiles and launch positions in rebel-held Yemen that posed a threat to commercial shipping and naval forces in the Red Sea, the US military said.

The Iran-backed Houthis, who control much of war-torn Yemen, have harassed the vital waterway since November in a campaign they say is in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza during the Israel-Hamas war. Before dawn on Wednesday, "U.S. Central Command forces conducted four self-defense strikes against seven mobile anti-ship cruise missiles and one mobile anti-ship ballistic missile launcher that were being prepared for launch into the Red Sea," CENTCOM said in a statement on social media platform X .The military said it also shot down a "one-way attack unmanned aerial system." "CENTCOM forces have identified the missiles, launchers and drone coming from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined that they pose an immediate threat to commercial and US Navy vessels in the region," CENTCOM said.

The Pentagon said on Tuesday that a US drone had crashed off the coast of Yemen after apparently being hit by a missile fired by Houthi rebels. Attacks in the Red Sea have raised insurance premiums for shipping companies, forcing many to avoid the Red Sea, a vital route through which about 12 percent of the world's maritime trade normally passes. /BGNES, AFP