US military targets Houthi radar sites in Yemen after a merchant sailor goes missing

US military targets Houthi radar sites in Yemen after a merchant sailor goes missing
The US has launched a new wave of attacks on the Houthis as the rebel group continue to target ships linked to Israel in the Red Sea.
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Houthi rebels march in support of Gaza [Getty]

The United States military unleashed a wave of attacks targeting radar sites operated by Yemen's Houthi rebels over their assaults on shipping in the crucial Red Sea corridor, authorities said Saturday, after one merchant sailor went missing following an earlier Houthi strike on a ship.

The attacks come as the U.S. Navy faces the most intense combat its seen since World War II in trying to counter the Houthi campaign — attacks the rebels say are meant to halt Israel's war on Gaza.

U.S. strikes destroyed seven radars within Houthi-controlled territory, the military's Central Command said. It did not elaborate on how the sites were destroyed and did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press.

“These radars allow the Houthis to target maritime vessels and endanger commercial shipping,” Central Command said in a statement.

The U.S. separately destroyed two bomb-laden drone boats in the Red Sea, as well as a drone launched by the Houthis over the waterway, it said.

The Houthis, who have held Yemen's capital, Sanaa, since 2014, did not acknowledge the strikes, nor any military losses. That's been typical since the U.S. began launching airstrikes targeting the rebels.

Meanwhile, Central Command said one commercial sailor from the Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned bulk cargo carrier Tutor remained missing after an attack Wednesday by the Houthis that used a bomb-carrying drone boat to strike the vessel.

“The crew abandoned ship and were rescued by USS Philippine Sea and partner forces,” Central Command said. The “Tutor remains in the Red Sea and is slowly taking on water.”

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The Houthis have launched more than 50 attacks on shipping, killed three sailors, seized one vessel and sunk another since November, according to the U.S. Maritime Administration. A U.S.-led airstrike campaign has targeted the Houthis since January, with a series of strikes 30 May killing at least 16 people and wounding 42 others, the rebels say.