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US and UK airstrikes against Ansar Allah unlikely to deter future attacks on Red Sea shipping

Date Posted: 12-Jan-2024

Author:  James Trigg, London

Publication: Jane's Country Risk Daily Report

Key points

  • Event: US and UK forces launched a series of airstrikes against Ansar Allah on 12 January, targeting the group's capability to launch UAVs and missiles
  • Significance: These strikes also came after Ansar Allah launched its largest barrage of missiles and UAVs to date towards the Red Sea on 9 January, deliberately targeting a US warship for the first time
  • Outlook: Ansar Allah will almost certainly seek to respond with further missile and UAV attacks targeting the Red Sea in the immediate term, dependent on the damage inflicted by the 12 January airstrikes. The risk of escalating the conflict means international and regional support for further airstrikes will likely be limited


At approximately 0230 h local time, the US and the UK launched a series of air and missile strikes against targets in Ansar Allah-controlled Yemeni territory. In an 11 January statement (Eastern Standard Time) acknowledging the operation, US Air Force Lieutenant General Alexus Grynkewich reported that the strikes occurred at “over 60 targets at 16 … sites”. The strikes were carried out through a combination of Tomahawk cruise missiles launched by US Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and a US submarine in the Red Sea, as well as aircraft deployed from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.

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