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US, British forces step up attacks on Houthi targets in Yemen

U.S. and British military forces on Saturday led a coalition that struck 36 Houthi targets in Yemen in a second wave of assaults against militants who have launched attacks against commercial ships off the coast of the country.

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Update 1:33 p.m. EST Feb. 4: Iran officials issued a warning to the United States over the possibility of targeting two cargo ships in the Middle East, according to The Associated Press. The cargo ships are believed to be operating bases for Iran commandos.

The warning came Sunday after the U.S. and British forces launched airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen, the AP reported. Iran’s statements regarding the two ships indicated that there are some growing concerns or uneasiness following the U.S. strikes.

The strikes come after a drone strike killed three U.S. soldiers last weekend in Jordan.

-- Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Original report: The attacks were launched to further disable Iran-backed groups that have attacked American and international interests since the start of the Israel-Hamas war that began on Oct. 7, U.S. officials told The Associated Press.

According to a news release from U.S. Central Command, 36 Houthi targets at 13 locations were hit in Iranian-backed Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

The strikes came after U.S. military forces bombarded an estimated 85 targets in Iraq and Syria on Friday, according to The Washington Post. Forces in both nations have launched at least 165 attacks on U.S. forces since early October, including a strike on Jan. 28 that killed three American soldiers at a base in Jordan near the Iraqi and Syrian borders, the newspaper reported.

The targets on Saturday included command and control facilities, an underground weapons storage facility, and other weapons used by Houthis to harass international shipping lanes, according to CNN.

Australia, Bahrain, Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand provided support, according to The New York Times. Officials said those nations offered assistance in intelligence and logistics,

The attacks by the Houthi militants have not killed any American civilians or forces at sea, but have become a daily occurrence of violence, the Post reported.

The targets hit on Saturday were carried out by U.S. F/A-18 fighter jets from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft, the AP reported. American warships also hit targets after firing Tomahawk missiles from the Red Sea, according to the news organization.

“These strikes are intended to degrade Houthi capabilities used to continue their reckless and unlawful attacks on U.S. and U.K. ships as well as international commercial shipping in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden,” U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

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