Taken together, however, the strikes have failed to deter the Houthis from attacking shipping lanes to and from the Suez Canal that are critical for global trade. The Iran-backed group says it will keep up its attacks in what it says is a protest against Israel’s military campaign in Gaza against Hamas.
Indeed, the Houthis remained defiant on Monday after the strikes by carrier-based Navy FA-18 fighter jets, Tomahawk cruise missiles and British warplanes. “Retaliation against American and British attacks is inevitable, and any new aggression will not go unpunished,” a Houthi military spokesman, Yahya Sarea, said in a statement before the latest American strikes.
President Biden said on Thursday that U.S. airstrikes against the Houthis would continue. “Are they stopping the Houthis? No,” Mr. Biden said. “Are they going to continue? Yes.”
On Sunday, Jon Finer, a deputy national security adviser, offered a glimpse into the administration’s emerging strategy toward the Houthis forged in several high-level White House meetings in recent days, senior U.S. officials said.
“They have stockpiles of advanced weapons provided to them in many cases, or enabled to them in many cases, by Iran,” Mr. Finer said on ABC News’s “This Week.” “We are taking out these stockpiles so that they will not be able to conduct as many attacks over time. That will take time to play out.”