Canada once again contributed to a series of airstrikes led by the United States and the United Kingdom against around 30 targets in Yemen on Saturday, in response to repeated attacks by Houthi rebels against ships in the Red Sea.
In the evening, the Department of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) confirmed, as did Australia, Bahrain, Denmark, the Netherlands and New Zealand, that they had offered their “support” to the operation led by Washington and London.
This new series of strikes described as “proportionate and necessary” targeted 36 Houthi targets spread over 13 sites in Yemen, in response to attacks by the Iranian-backed rebel group against ships circulating in the Red Sea.
“Today’s strikes specifically targeted sites associated with Houthi-owned deep-buried weapons storage facilities, missile systems, missile launchers, air defense systems and radars,” the statement said. coalition in a joint statement.
“Our goal remains to ease tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea, but we would like to reiterate our warning to the Houthi leaders: we will not hesitate to continue to defend lives and free trade in the one of the most important waterways in the world in the face of continuing threats,” we continue.
The exact nature of the support offered by Canada had not been clarified on Saturday evening.
This is the second time that Ottawa has participated in strikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen since the start of the year, the first dating back to January 11.
Canadian military support was then provided by CAF personnel deployed within United States Central Command. They had supported the “planning” of the operation and no FAC military equipment had been used, the Ministry of National Defense then clarified.
An American replica
Saturday’s air raids in Yemen come a day after a series of US strikes against elite Iranian forces and pro-Iranian armed groups in Syria and Iraq, in response to the killing of three US soldiers in Jordan on 28 January.
Earlier on Saturday, the United States had already announced that it had carried out strikes in Yemen, targeting six Houthi anti-ship missiles “ready to be launched against ships in the Red Sea”.
On Friday, the US military also destroyed eight drones off the coast of Yemen and four on the ground in order to “protect freedom of navigation” from Houthi attacks.
The Houthis began targeting maritime traffic in the Red Sea in November, saying they were targeting ships linked to Israel “in solidarity” with Palestinians in Gaza, ravaged by the war between Israel and Hamas.
US and British forces responded with raids against the Houthis, who have since also designated US and British interests as legitimate targets.
In addition to strikes against the Houthis, the United States has created a multinational naval force aimed at protecting maritime traffic in the region, which accounts for some 12 percent of global traffic.
Anger over Israel’s devastating campaign in Gaza, which began after an unprecedented deadly Hamas attack on October 7, continues to swell in the Middle East, sending violence soaring in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and in Yemen.
Last weekend, a drone struck a base in Jordan, killing three American soldiers and injuring more than 40. The attack was attributed by Washington to pro-Iranian groups.
The United States responded Friday with retaliatory strikes against elite Iranian forces and pro-Iranian armed groups in Iraq and Syria, but did not strike Iranian territory.
With Agence France-Presse