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US denies seeking war with Yemen as new strikes reported — RT World News

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Washington only wants to stop Houthi militants from hitting ships in Red Sea, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby has claimed

Washington does not want its operation in the Red Sea to turn into a conflict with Yemen, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told CBS on Sunday. His words came amid media reports about further strikes launched against Yemeni targets by American and British forces on the same day.

Last week, the US and UK launched a military operation in the Red Sea in response to the actions of the Yemen-based Houthi Islamist group. The Houthis have pledged solidarity with Palestinians amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. They have also vowed to target merchant vessels sailing through the Gulf of Aden until Israel stops its war with Hamas.

More than 50 countries have been affected by 27 Houthi attacks on ships as of mid-January, the US said. The American and British forces launched sorties against dozens of Houthi-related targets in Yemen over the past few days.

When asked about the course of the operation, Kirby praised the military effort by saying that “we think we had good effect.” He also said that the air raids were aimed at “degrading” the Houthis’ ability to conduct their own strikes.

His assessment appeared to be vastly different from that provided by the New York Times on Saturday. The US-led actions had failed to significantly weaken the militants’ potential, the paper reported, citing its sources and adding that only about 25% of the group’s assets had been destroyed.

On Sunday, Kirby admitted that Washington is not ruling out a retaliatory strike by the Houthis and was “watching [the situation] very, very closely.” Some “necessary precautions” were also taken, he said, without going into detail.

When asked whether the US risks another “open-ended conflict” in the region, the national security council spokesman replied that Washington would very much like to avoid such a development. “Nobody wants a conflict with the Houthis. We’re not looking for a conflict with Yemen here. We’re trying to get these attacks to stop,” he said.

Earlier on Sunday, Sky News Arabia reported, citing Houthi media, that a Houthi missile launch platform and an operations facility in the port city of Hodeida had been targeted in a new air raid on Sunday. The Yemeni sources also reported massive reconnaissance-drone sightings over the area. The sources then accused the US and UK forces of bombing the city.

Washington denied carrying out any operations on Sunday. “No US or coalition strike occurred today,” a defense official told AFP.

The American and British bombing campaigns were earlier condemned by Russia and Türkiye. Moscow blasted the US and UK operations as “illegitimate” due to the lack of UN Security Council permission, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the two nations of seeking to turn the Red Sea into a “sea of blood.”

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