US military strikes Houthi radar sites in Yemen after ship goes missing in Red Sea

The U.S. military is striking radar sites operated by Yemen’s Houthi rebels after a merchant sailor and boat went missing in the Red Sea earlier this week.

U.S. strikes have destroyed seven radars within Houthi territory, the military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) said. The Associated Press reported that the military did not elaborate on how the sites were destroyed and did not immediately respond to questions.

The radars “allow the Houthis to target maritime vessels and endanger commercial shipping,” CENTCOM said in a statement to the AP.

The strikes are the latest development in the Red Sea, where the Houthis are striking ships in an attempt to stop the ongoing war in Gaza. Like other Iranian-backed groups, the Houthis are protesting Israel’s continued bombardment of the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The group has claimed it struck ships that provided Israel with aid in its ongoing military operation, while others have hit U.S. targets because Washington has offered continued support to the Israeli military.

However, as the news wire noted, the rebel group has also targeted ships and sailors that have nothing to do with the war. About half of all international cargo boats have been diverted through the critical shipping corridor amid the ongoing conflict.

Separately, the U.S. destroyed two drone boats in the Red Sea that held bombs, as well as a drone that was launched above the waterway from the Houthi rebels.

CENTCOM acknowledged that one commercial sailor from the Liberian-flagged and Greek-owned cargo carrier Tutor has been missing since Wednesday, after the Houthis used a drone with a bomb on it to strike the boat.

The crew abandoned ship and were rescued by the USS Philippine Sea and partner forces, but the Tutor remains in the Red Sea and is “taking on water,” the agency said, per the AP.

The missing sailor is Filipino, the Philippine News Agency said.

While most of the Houthi’s attacks since November have been unsuccessful, with the U.S. shooting down drones on a near-daily basis, several commercial ships have been struck, at least four of them have been U.S. vessels, the Pentagon said in March.

The U.S. Navy is likely spending more than $2 million on each surface-to-air missile to take down each Houthi attack.

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