US Strikes Houthis And Blames Iraq Group For Jordan Drone Attack

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The US launched two separate strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen and intercepted a missile fired by the Iran-backed group, as the fallout from the Israel-Hamas war continues to roil the region.

American forces destroyed a Houthi surface-to-air missile they said was being prepared for launch at around 3:30 p.m. Yemen time on Wednesday. Five hours later, the USS Carney, a destroyer, intercepted a Houthi anti-ship missile fired toward the Gulf of Aden and also shot down three drones in the area, according to US Central Command.

Later, at 1:30 a.m., the US struck what it said was a drone-control station and 10 one-way drones in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

Iran’s ‘Axis of Resistance’

A network of armed groups working against the US and Israel

“They presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and the US Navy ships in the region,” Centcom, which is in charge of American forces in the Middle East and parts of Asia, said of the latest incident.

The frantic few hours for the US military came as the White House prepared its response to a deadly drone attack on an American base in Jordan over the weekend, which killed three soldiers and wounded dozens.

The US blamed Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria for the assault and Biden is under pressure to retaliate fiercely against the Islamic Republic.

Some Republicans, including Senator Lindsey Graham, are urging Biden to hit Iranian territory. A less escalatory response might be to hit Iranian targets or proxies abroad, in countries such as Iraq and Syria.

The US has determined that Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a group aligned with Iran, was responsible for the assault in Jordan, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said late Tuesday.

Biden said earlier this week he’s decided on his response, but didn’t give any details on the timing or extent of it. He’s said he doesn’t want to escalate tensions with Iran to the point of causing a wider war in the Middle East.

Since Oct. 7, when Hamas rampaged through southern Israel and triggered the war in Gaza, the region’s seen several more conflicts erupt. The Houthis are causing mayhem in the shipping world with attacks around the southern Red Sea, which they say will continue until Israel pulls out of Gaza. They’ve been undeterred by multiple strikes on their positions by the US and UK.

US bases have been attacked almost daily in Syria and Iraq, forcing the Americans into retaliatory strikes in both countries. The base in Jordan, called Tower 22, was close to the borders of Syria and Iraq.

Iran backs anti-Israel and anti-US groups across the region. It’s often called the “axis of resistance” and includes Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as the Houthis and the militias in Syria and Iraq.

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