Iran Calls US Strikes a 'Strategic Mistake'

Second wave hit Houthi sites in Yemen, defense officials say
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2024 5:40 PM CST
US' Second Wave Hits 35 Targets in Yemen
Members of Iraqi Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces clear rubble after a US airstrike in al-Qaim, Iraq, on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Popular Mobilization Forces Media Office)

The US unleashed another round of strikes against Houthi targets on Saturday, hours after Iran condemned the retaliation but stopped short of threatening a military response to it. The latest targets were all in Yemen, intended to damage the military capability of Iran-backed militia groups that have fired on US personnel and international shipping vessels in the Red Sea since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war. The US began the assault in retaliation for the deaths of three American soldiers on Friday. Saturday's developments include:

  • The attacks: The US and UK said in a statement that their forces hit 36 Houthi targets in 13 locations in Yemen. Multiple targets at each site were struck, after the previous strikes were aimed at individual Houthi missiles, the New York Times reports. The missions were carried out by US F/A-18 fighter jets from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier and by the USS Gravely, per the AP. Navy destroyers in the Red Sea fired Tomahawk missiles. The statement said the attacks were supported by the militaries of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, per CBS News.
  • Iran's response: A spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry called the US attacks "a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria," per the Washington Post. He said the US had made a "strategic mistake" that would only increase "tension and instability in the region." Iran's response did not include a threat of its retaliation against the US.
  • Iraq's response: The foreign ministry said in a statement that it will summon the US envoy at the embassy in Baghdad to officially protest the strikes on its territory. A spokesman for the prime minister said 16 people, including civilians, were killed in Iraq, and 25 were injured.
  • Aid for Israel: House Speaker Mike Johnson told his members they'll vote next week on a standalone bill providing $17.6 billion in assistance to Israel. The measure appears headed for a clash with a Senate package combining funding for security at the US-Mexico border with aid to foreign allies, per the Post. The Senate proposal aligns with President Biden's request for $106 billion that includes funding for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region. "Given the Senate's failure to move appropriate legislation in a timely fashion, and the perilous circumstances currently facing Israel, the House will continue to lead," Johnson wrote to GOP colleagues.
(More US military stories.)

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