The U.S. military launched a fresh wave of strikes against Houthi missiles in Yemen on Sunday, the Pentagon said, while a drone attack on an American base in Syria left several Kurdish fighters dead overnight in the latest bloodshed in the region.
U.S. Central Command on Monday said in a statement that its forces had struck a Houthi land attack cruise missile as well as four anti-ship cruise missiles “all of which were prepared to launch against ships in the Red Sea.” The Iran-backed militia’s weapons “presented an imminent threat to U.S. Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region,” the statement added.
The Houthis have been attacking ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since the outbreak of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. The rebels claim to target vessels linked with Israel out of solidarity with Palestine, but many of those targeted seemingly have no ties to Israel at all.
The U.S. also carried out strikes targeting other Tehran-aligned groups in Iraq and Syria over the weekend, part of a furious response to an attack that killed three American soldiers at a base in Jordan late last month. Attacks against American targets in the Middle East have continued unabated, however.
On Monday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that a one-way unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) struck its commando academy at a base that houses U.S. troops in the al-Omar oil field. No American casualties were reported, but six Kurdish fighters were killed, the SDF said.
The so-called Islamic Resistance in Iraq—an umbrella group of militias behind the drone attack that killed American soldiers in Jordan—claimed responsibility for the Kurdish fighters’ deaths. The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the latest assault came as part of the Islamic Resistance’s “Revenge for Gaza” campaign. “This attack is the first response by Iranian militias to American bases after American airstrikes on militia positions in various areas within areas they control,” the SOHR said.
The organization further claimed that the death toll from the attack had risen to seven and that 18 others had been injured, some seriously. The SOHR said it has documented 108 attacks on U.S. bases in Syria by Iran-backed militias since Oct. 19, with 27 of those targeting the al-Omar oil field installation.
After the deaths in Jordan, President Joe Biden ordered a “firm and serious response” which is “now underway,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told Meet the Press on Sunday. “We intend to take additional strikes, and additional action, to continue to send a clear message that the United States will respond when our forces are attacked or our people are killed,” he added.