A High-Risk War

The USA and UK attack Yemen:

British and US forces have rained bombs on Iran-backed rebels in Yemen using warships, fighter jets and submarines. After the airstrikes, Rishi Sunak said attacks on international shipping by Houthi rebels ‘cannot stand’, while US President Joe Biden hailed the ‘successful’ blitz and vowed more action if it was needed.

Explosions were heard in the capital Sana’a and other major cities shortly before midnight in a drastic escalation of tensions in the Middle East.

US and UK forces – including four Typhoon jets – bombed more than a dozen sites used by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen in a massive retaliatory strike using warship-launched Tomahawk missiles and fighter jets, US officials said.

The four RAF Typhoons used Paveway IV guided bombs to ‘conduct precision strikes’ on two targets that had been chosen to ‘reduce the Houthis’ capability to violate international law’.

One of the targets was a launching site for reconnaissance and attack drones in Bani, north-western Yemen. Another was an airfield in Abs in the same area of Yemen.

Officials said the Houthi rebels, who have carried out a series of attacks in the Red Sea, had ignored a ‘final warning’ as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak signed off on the raids during an emergency cabinet meeting last night.

Somehow, I have the very strong impression that this is not going to go the way the neoclown geostrategists believe it is going to go. The Yemenis have survived years of being attacked by US-backed Saudi forces, so a few airstrikes, however massive, are very unlikely to cause them to stop blocking the Red Sea.

So it really looks a lot like the US and UK forces taking the bait, although it’s not yet clear whose bait that would be. The problem is that both countries have taken a strong position that providing missiles to combatants is not a casus belli; objecting to Iranian, Chinese, or Russian missiles being used against US or UK ships would immediately provide Russia with cause for attacking either country.

UPDATE: An unconfirmed claim. The fact that no ship name or description was provided makes me very dubious, but we’ll find out soon enough.

“By the grace of Almighty Allah, we sank the first American ship with everyone on board using our missiles.”