US Deals Strike Against Houthi Unmanned Underwater Vessel

US Deals Strike Against Houthi Unmanned Underwater Vessel

( – The US Central Command (CENTCOM) has issued a statement confirming a series of successful strikes against Houthi militants on February 17. At least one of the attacks specifically targeted what officials now say was the first unmanned underwater vessel detected in the region since last fall.

“This is the first observed Houthi employment of a UUV since attacks began on October 23,” CENTCOM said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. The command further emphasized that these operations are directed at preserving navigational freedom and making international waters safer for ships.

The military’s shortlist of targets also included an unmanned surface vessel and at least three separate mobile anti-ship cruise missile systems. All five of the strikes were just one small part of a much larger ongoing exercise aimed at countering the escalating threat Houthi rebels present within Yemen and on the Red Sea.

CENTCOM said that they had reason to believe the militant group’s equipment represented a clear and immediate danger to merchant vessels and US Navy ships. However, they stopped short of clarifying the exact nature of the threat.

Houthi rebels have launched a barrage of drone and missile attacks on international shipping corridors in recent months. While they initially targeted only Israeli-owned vessels, they later broadened that focus to include a general disruption of regional maritime security.

In December, leaders from the militant group threatened to begin attacking any ship bound for Israel, irrespective of nationality, including those ferrying in aid. They vowed not to back down until Gaza received food and aid.

The Houthi’s arsenal reportedly includes a laundry list of Iranian-made weapons. However, officials in Iran staunchly refute these claims, denying any wrongdoing or direct involvement.

A coalition of international forces came together in December to address the ongoing aggression under the umbrella of the US-led Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG) project. OPG, which technically falls under the purview of the Combined Maritime Forces in Bahrain, is a military initiative aimed at countering militant attacks on shipping lanes within the Red Sea.

OPG participants hail from over 20 countries around the globe. Most of these nations are openly critical of the rebel group and their attempts to disrupt the region. However, at least 10 countries who agreed to take part opted to remain anonymous.

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