Dramatic moment bombs rain on Houthi targets after UK and US fighters jet off on daring missions in cover of darkness

Dramatic moment bombs rain on Houthi targets after UK and US fighters jet off on daring missions in cover of darkness

BOMBS rained down from fighter jets under the cover of darkness as the UK and US pummelled Houthi targets in response to their Red Sea attacks.

The bold mission saw at least 60 targets hit in 16 locations across Yemen last night after the Iran-backed terror proxy threatened the West.

UK MOD Crown copyrightFootage shows an RAF fighter jet taking off in the night[/caption]

UK Ministry of Defence / Crown 2024A UK fighter jet hones in on a target before dropping a bomb[/caption]

Huge explosions were captured on the ground in Yemen in dramatic footage

Fire is seen after an airstrike near capital Sanaa in YemenRex

ReutersFighters jets leaving a base to hit targets in Yemen[/caption]

ReutersA Houthi military helicopter flies over the Galaxy Leader cargo ship in the Red Sea[/caption]

Dramatic footage shows RAF fighter jets honing in on military targets in Yemen before dropping bombs into the countryside.

Huge explosions were captured in the clips, as the US and UK sent out formidable weapons in their “self-defence” efforts to target airports, air bases and military camps.

Fiery blazes on the ground were also captured in footage from the daring allied mission.

And fighters jets fuelled by plumes of fire could be seen soaring into the night at rapid speed.

Jets, warships and submarines were used overnight in attacks on Yemen’s capital Sanaa, as well as four other regions, Sadah, Hodeidah, Taiz, and Dhamar.

Command and control centres, munition stores, launching bases, production facilities and air defence radar systems were wiped out in the attacks, the US said.

Over 100 precision-guided munitions were used to bomb the capital, as video footage captured the enormous explosions.

And the British Ministry of Defence said four RAF Typhoon FGR4s, supported by a Voyager tanker, used Paveway IV guided bombs to unleash strikes on two Houthi facilities.

The Paveway bombs are kitted out with 500lb warheads and tail fins used with laser and GPS technology to zone in on targets.

Some of the footage showed an RAF Typhoon speeding off into the darkness from a land-based runway.

The US used missiles launched by formidable warship Tomahawk, along with fighter jets and a submarine.

The enormous submarine USS Florida is one of only four nuclear-powered missile subs in the US Navy armoury.

America unleashed the powerful ballistic missile sub overnight – which carries nuclear warheads.

And the Tomahawk missiles are low-flying and capable of unleashing a 1,000lb warhead on targets, travelling at an incredible speed that can override air defence systems.

It comes as…

An ex-British army chief has said the strikes on Houthi rebels are ‘necessary’ to remove threats to global trade

President Biden warned ‘he will not hesitate’ to launch further strikes to protect the free flow of commerce

Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands backed the US-UK airstrikes

Houthi official warned US and UK would ‘pay a heavy price’ for this ‘blatant aggression’

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak warned the UK ‘will always stand up for freedom of navigation’

Masked gunmen stormed a Greek-owned 900ft tanker carrying 145,000 tons of crude and ordered it to sail to Iran

The US and UK said the aerial attacks were intended to disrupt and degrade the militants’ threat to global trade after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gave his go-ahead on Thursday evening.

Sunak said the countries acted in “self-defence” after the Iran-backed militia group vowed America and Britain would “pay a heavy price” for their “blatant aggression” in recent months.

It follows weeks of dangerous attacks in the Red Sea as the Houthi rebels stormed, besieged and threatened the crews of ships passing through one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

The radical Islamist ­paramilitary group are using the chaos of the Red Sea attacks to try and pressure Israel into conceding to their allies, Hamas, in Gaza.

Israel is targeting terror group Hamas after their attacks in Israel on October 7, pummelling the Gaza Strip from air and land as they hunt down the remaining masterminds.

The Houthi attacks, according to UK figures, increased by 500% from November to December last year – threatening to ignite an all-out war in the Middle East.

Who are the Houthi Rebels?

The Houthi rebels are terrorising vessels in the Red Sea and now their bases are being struck by the US and UK – but who are they?

The Shia militant group, which now controls most of Yemen, spent over a decade being largely ignored by the world.

However, since the outbreak of the Israel-Gaza war they sprung from relative obscurity to holding roughly £1trillion of world trade hostage – turning one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes into an active warzone.

Why are they attacking ships?

The rebel group has been launching relentless drone and missile attacks on any ships they deem to be connected with Israel in solidarity with their ally Hamas.

The sea assaults have threatened to ignite a full-blown war in the Middle East as ripples from Israel’s war in Gaza are felt across the region – with Iran suspected of stoking the chaos.

However, there have been frequent attacks on commercial vessels with little or no link to Israel – forcing global sea traffic to halt operations in the region and sending shipping prices soaring.

Houthi attacks in the Red Sea increased 50 per cent between November and December.

Their slogan is “Death to America, Death to Israel, curse the Jews and victory to Islam”.

And the rebel group’s leaders have previously pledged the attacks will continue until Israel stops its devastating offensive inside Gaza.

On Thursday night, explosions rang out in Yemen and President Biden and PM Rishi Sunak struck over 60 Houthi targets. 

US President Joe Biden hailed the blitz on sites used by the Iran-backed militia group a “success” and said he would “not hesitate” to launch more.

US Air Force Lt Gen Alex Grynkewich said the US had “executed deliberate strikes on over 60 targets at 16 Iranian-backed Houthi militant locations, including command and control nodes, munitions depots, launching systems, production facilities and air defence radar systems.”

Sunak also said the RAF’s “targeted strikes” were “limited, necessary and proportionate action in self-defence”.

A Houthi spokesperson on Friday said five militants were killed and six were injured in the overnight assaults.

They have vowed in a chilling threat to retaliate in a scale “beyond the imagination” of the US and UK and said they had made a “huge mistake launching the war in Yemen”.

The strikes followed soon after masked gunmen in military uniforms stormed the St Nikolas – a Greek-owned 900ft tanker carrying 145,000 tons of crude oil – and ordered it to sail to Iran.

Iran’s navy said the ship seizure was in retaliation to the US confiscating oil onboard last year.

One strike overnight was at a military site in Bani, north-western Yemen, used to launch attack drones, while another location struck by the RAF was the airfield in Abbs.

It is understood F-35B Lightning stealth jets usually based at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, were involved while recon jets were spotted flying over Saudi Arabia last night.

British drones equipped with lethal Hellfire missiles were also primed.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The threat to innocent lives and global trade has become so great that this action was not only necessary, it was our duty to protect vessels and freedom of navigation.”

Strikes were carried out with the support of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed.

Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and South Korea also assisted.

Joe Biden said military action was a “direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels“.

He added that it sent a “clear message” that the US and its partners will not tolerate attacks which have been crippling international shipping.

On Tuesday, British and US warships shot down a barrage of 18 drones and three cruise and anti-ship ballistic missiles fired towards the Red Sea in the Houthis largest attack so far.

Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond blasted seven of the drones out of the sky and Defence Secretary Shapps says the warship was “deliberately targeted”.

The US and Britain had both warned that the group faced “consequences” for Tuesday’s attack.

The plans for Thursday’s bold mission were finalised yesterday following meetings of the Prime Minister’s National Security Council and the emergency committee Cobra.

A jet fires up before soaring off the runway on the overnight mission

UK Ministry of Defence / Crown 2024Yemen’s capital Sanaa was targeted in the overnight strikes[/caption]

ReutersThe moment a missile is launched from a US warship during the coalition operation[/caption]

UK MOD Crown copyrightThe return of RAF Typhoon aircraft at Akrotiri in Cyprus, after hitting military targets in Yemen[/caption]

Huge explosions rang out across 16 locations in Yemen overnight

Fire captured in Yemen after a strike

SWNSRoyal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond alongside the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea[/caption]

Iran-backed Houthi rebelsRex

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