Preventing Iran from Resupplying Houthis Is “Most Important” for Red Sea Security

The commander in charge of U.S. military operations in the Middle East says the U.S. has to block Iran from giving the extremists weapons as attacks by Iran-backed Houthis in the Red Sea continue. Denying them the ability to restock from Iran is crucial. There is no building by the Houthis. They’re not making inertial navigation systems; they’re just building and piecing everything together. The head of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), Gen. Erik Kurilla, informed the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the company does not produce medium-range ballistic missile engines. In areas under Houthi control, the U.S. and British armies have conducted many joint operations against weapons installations, radars, and launchpads.

 

In addition, the United States has kept up almost daily strikes against the Houthis in an effort to destroy their weapons and shoot down any approaching weaponry. On Wednesday night, the U.S. carried out strikes against two of their drones. CENTCOM said in a statement that three crew members of the Liberian-owned bulk carrier True Confidence, flying the Barbados flag, were killed by an anti-ship ballistic missile that was launched earlier on Wednesday from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen. Since the Houthi militants’ assault on international shipping channels started in mid-November, this was the first fatal attack by the group, which is supported by Iran. During that period, Houthi drones or missiles have damaged or destroyed over a dozen commercial ships.

 

Among those ships were one carrying goods headed for Iran and another carrying grain on its way to Yemen as humanitarian relief. The MV Rubymar, a ship that was transporting fertilizer, was damaged in a Houthi raid last month and sank over the weekend. The US launched a cyberattack against two Iranian military vessels last month. The Iranian spy ship MV Behshad was one of the targeted vessels, according to a U.S. official who discussed covert operations with VOA on the condition of anonymity. It had been gathering information on ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

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