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    Who Are the Houthis and Why Hasn’t the US Retaliated for Their Attacks on Ships in the Middle East?

    Who Are the Houthis and Why Hasn't the US Retaliated for Their Attacks on Ships in the Middle East?

    — When Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in launched missiles and hit three commercial ships in the southern Red Sea last weekend, it triggered an immediate question: Will the U.S. military strike back?

    The Houthis have sharply escalated their attacks against ships as they sail toward the narrow Bab el-Mandeb Strait. And U.S. Navy ships have shot down an array of drones headed their way and believed to have been launched by the militant group from territory it controls in Yemen.

    But so far, the U.S. has avoided military retaliation — a marked difference from its multiple strikes against -backed militias in and Syria that have fired rockets, missiles and drones at bases housing American forces in both countries.

    No one has been reported hurt in the Houthi incidents, although the commercial ships suffered some damage. And U.S. officials argue that the Houthis haven't technically targeted U.S. vessels or forces — a subtlety that Navy ship captains watching the incoming drones may question.

    Here's a look at the Houthis and their increasing attacks, and why the U.S. believes it is more acceptable to bomb some Iranian-linked targets than others.

    Who are the Houthis and what's going on in Yemen

    Houthi rebels swept down from their northern stronghold in Yemen and seized the capital, Sanaa, in 2014, launching a grinding war. A Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to try to restore Yemen's exiled,…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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