Read it in full: Joe Biden's statement on 'defensive strikes' in Yemen

12 January 2024, 01:07

US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Joe Biden has confirmed that the US and UK - with the backing of several other allies - have launched "defensive strikes" in Yemen.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Mr Biden's full statement read: "Today, at my direction, US military forces - together with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands - successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world's most vital waterways.

"These strikes are in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea - including the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles for the first time in history.

"These attacks have endangered US personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardised trade, and threatened freedom of navigation. 

"More than 50 nations have been affected in 27 attacks on international commercial shipping. 

"Crews from more than 20 countries have been threatened or taken hostage in acts of piracy.  

"More than 2,000 ships have been forced to divert thousands of miles to avoid the Red Sea - which can cause weeks of delays in product shipping times. 

"And on 9 January, Houthis launched their largest attack to date- directly targeting American ships."The response of the international community to these reckless attacks has been united and resolute. 

"Last month, the United States launched Operation Prosperity Guardian - a coalition of more than 20 nations committed to defending international shipping and deterring Houthi attacks in the Red Sea.  

"We also joined more than 40 nations in condemning Houthi threats. Last week, together with 13 allies and partners, we issued an unequivocal warning that Houthi rebels would bear the consequences if their attacks did not cease. 

"And yesterday, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution demanding the Houthis end attacks on merchant and commercial vessels. 

"Today's defensive action follows this extensive diplomatic campaign and Houthi rebels' escalating attacks against commercial vessels. 

"These targeted strikes are a clear message that the United States and our partners will not tolerate attacks on our personnel or allow hostile actors to imperil freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most critical commercial routes. 

"I will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary."

Read it in full: Rishi Sunak's statement on 'targeted strikes' in Yemen

Read more: Who are the Houthi rebels and what has led to increased tensions in the Middle East?

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Jay Slater's father has urged people to come forward if they have any information on his son's disappearance

'Someone must know something': Jay Slater's father speaks out as search for missing son stretches into second week

Security guard who plotted to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby previously held other women against their will

Security guard who plotted to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby previously held other women against their will

Princess Diana's family home in Mayfair has gone on sale for the first time in decades

'A trophy home with royal connections': Mayfair townhouse where Diana met Dodi on sale for £11m

A shopping centre security guard from Essex, spent almost two years plotting to kidnap and kill Holly Willoughby.

'Obsessed' security guard spent almost two years 'plotting to kidnap, rape and murder' Holly Willoughby

Princess Anne has been injured by a horse

Princess Anne rushed to hospital with concussion after being kicked in the head by horse on country estate

Rishi Sunak has said he is not aware of any other candidates being investigated in the Conservative gambling scandal

Sunak says he's not being investigated in Tory betting scandal and is 'unaware of other candidates being looked at'

Lucy Letby tells retrial she never intended to harm babies in her care

Lucy Letby tells her retrial she never tried to harm any babies in her care

Frederick Allard has been jailed

Predator landlord jailed after demanding sexual favours from women in exchange for reduced rent

Jay Slater's family have shared an image of what is believed to be the last sighting of him

Spanish police issue update on missing Jay Slater after family share CCTV of mystery figure believed to be teen

A man has been rescued following a house explosion in Willington, County Durham

Explosion destroys house and leaves man seriously injured

Polish Politics And More (archives 2016-2022)

No Brexit renegotiation without free movement, warns Michel Barnier in fresh blow for Labour

Labour and the Tories are in a 'conspiracy of silence' about taxes, the IFS has warned

Next government will have to raise taxes, cut services or borrow more, IFS warn as they slam 'conspiracy of silence'

Jay Slater's family have shared an image of what is believed to be the last sighting of him

Missing Jay Slater's 'last sighting' in Tenerife: Family share CCTV of mystery figure believed to be teen

Wes Streeting has said Labour would simplify the gender transition process

Labour will 'simplify burdensome and bureaucratic' gender transition process, Wes Streeting says

Hosts of Izmir Wildlife Park

Mother in 'serious condition' after being viciously mauled by wolf pack during jog through safari park


Tory Party not sure if Craig Williams had insider knowledge on election or whether it was 'just a hunch', says minister