US and UK Conduct Air Strikes in Yemen Following Houthi Attacks on Red Sea Shipping



The recent increase in US and UK air strikes on Yemen targets, in response to Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping, has generated discussions on the implications for regional security and the potential for escalation in the Middle East. Analysts Roger Shanahan and Elizabeth Kendall weigh in on the strategic outcomes of these strikes, Iran’s influence over Houthi actions, and the broader geopolitical dynamics at play. While the strikes aim to degrade Houthi capabilities and deter future attacks, there are concerns about their effectiveness and the risk of provoking a larger conflict.

  • The US and UK have conducted air strikes on Yemen, targeting Houthi underground weapons depots, missile systems, and launchers in response to attacks on Red Sea shipping.
  • Analyst Roger Shanahan suggests that these strikes might reduce the number and quality of Houthi attacks over time, although immediate deterrence has not been evident.
  • The Biden Administration clarifies its intention to avoid a wider war, framing the strikes as a measured response to the killing of US service personnel, rather than an escalation.
  • Iran is accused of providing support to Houthi militias, including funding, training, and logistical support, though the extent of direct involvement in attacks is unclear.
  • Despite the air strikes, there is little evidence so far that Houthi resolve has been deterred, with the group continuing to enjoy broad domestic support in Yemen.
  • Elizabeth Kendall highlights the risk of escalation, noting that current dynamics suggest a proxy war could be unfolding between the US and Iran, albeit with efforts from both sides to avoid a full-scale conflict.
  • The strikes are viewed within a context of tit-for-tat exchanges, raising concerns about potential miscalculations that could lead to wider regional conflict.
  • Iran benefits from the ongoing low-level conflict, enhancing its regional standing as a defender of Palestine, while the US faces challenges in achieving a decisive outcome.

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