US Launches Fresh Yemen Strike a Day After Broader Attack

(Bloomberg) -- The US launched a fresh airstrike on a Houthi rebel radar instillation Friday, in what was described as a follow-up attack to an earlier barrage across Yemen intended to degrade the group’s ability to target commercial shipping in the Red Sea.Most Read from BloombergIran Wins With US Airstrikes on Houthis in YemenLarge Backers of Private Equity Are Asking For Their Money BackCiti to Cut 20,000 Roles in Fraser’s Bid to Boost ReturnsBlackRock Buys Infrastructure Firm GIP for $12.5 Billion in Major Alternatives PushTrump Judge Says He’ll Hold Hearing on Fani Willis Affair ClaimsUnlike the previous operation, in which the UK took part with support from several other nations, this one was conducted solely by the US, two officials said Friday night, asking not to be identified ahead of an announcement.Earlier in the day, President Joe Biden had warned the Houthis and Iran, which supports the group, that he wouldn’t be afraid to launch more strikes.“We will make sure that we respond to the Houthis if they continue this outrageous behavior,“ Biden told reporters during an event in Pennsylvania.Even so, the latest attack signaled that the Biden administration would not wait for retaliation to press ahead with its campaign against the Houthis. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said his goal is to restore shipping through a vital trade waterway after the group’s earlier attacks forced many companies to route their ships around Africa.The US and its allies had been bracing for a response after the Houthis had vowed “imminent” attacks to target US and UK commercial vessels because of the earlier strikes.The back-and-forth, as well as Friday night’s action, prompted fresh worries that the turmoil in the Red Sea would continue unabated. It will force Biden to consider how long to maintain strikes — or seek some other solution if they don’t succeed. Israel has said it won’t let up its attacks on Gaza in the wake of Hamas’s Oct. 7 incursion — the Houthis’ initial justification for their strikes.Story continuesOf the more than 100 precision-guided weapons fired at Houthi targets earlier, more than 80 were Tomahawk cruise missiles, according to two American defense officials, who asked not to be identified discussing details that haven’t been widely released.Shortly before the allied attack, the Houthis had launched a concentrated barrage of missiles and drones at ships in the Red Sea.How Iran-Backed Groups Are Widening Mideast Conflict: QuickTakeThe strikes embroil the US in yet another fight with an Iranian proxy since the Israel-Hamas war erupted after the Hamas attack. American forces have launched strikes in Syria and Iraq in recent weeks against Iranian-supported militias that have targeted American bases — so far without major casualties.“Neither side is looking to have an all-out war, and they are badly mismatched,” Jon Alterman, a senior vice president at the Center for International and Strategic Studies, wrote in a note of the US and Iran. “But that is not to say that the Houthis will stop attacking shipping, or that the United States will stop attacking the Houthis.”(Updates with details of strike, background.)Most Read from Bloomberg BusinessweekHow AI Replaced the Metaverse as Zuckerberg’s Top PriorityTrumponomics 2.0: What to Expect If Trump Wins the 2024 ElectionKim Kardashian’s Skims Isn’t the Only Celebrity Brand to WatchFive ETFs to Watch in 2024US Is Weaponizing New Economic Tools to Slow China’s War Machine©2024 Bloomberg L.P.