Despite the incessant attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthis and Iranian proxy militias in Iraq and Syria, the Biden administration continues to insist it is not at war with Iran.
Bill and Joe catch up on the latest news from the Middle East, including U.S. pressure on Israel (led by Secretary of State Blinken) to come to a permanent ceasefire in Gaza while the U.S. also considers withdrawing its own troops from Syria; Israeli casualties in Gaza (including suffering the recent historic loss of 24 IDF reservists); Israeli strikes inside Lebanon; and, yes, more Houthi drama.
The U.S. and U.K., backed by just four other countries, renewed attacks on Houthi military targets. The paucity of countries willing to confront the Houthis, and thus Iran, highlights the difficulty the Biden administration has had in assembling an international coalition to restore calm to the vital shipping lanes.
The attacks against Houthi missiles are no longer being conducted under the aegis of an international coalition, but directly by the U.S. military.
As the Houthis defy the international coalition thatis struggling to keep the Red Sea open to commercial shipping, the Iranians launched a ballistic missile strike on what it claimed was Israeli intelligence assets in Irbil, Iraq.
The Houthis have launched three strikes, including one against a U.S. warship, since the U.S. and U.K. attacked Houthi military targets on Jan. 11 in an effort to restore deterrence. The Houthis have not been deterred.
Bill and Behnam unpack the details they’ve been able to gather so far surrounding the U.S. and UK-led coalition strikes against Houthi targets inside Yemen and discuss whether this will restore deterrence. Accurate preview courtesy of Behnam: “We like to say ‘freaky Fridays’ here [we do not] — it can’t get freakier than the first-ever, historic use of force since October 7 by the U.S. and UK against the Houthis.”
After nearly two months and 27 Houthi strikes against merchant vessels and U.S., British and French warships, the U.S. and United Kingdom launched a series of attacks against Houthis military sites.
Bill and Behnam unpack this week’s headlines from the Middle East, including the assassination of Hamas deputy Saleh al-Arouri; the U.S. strike that killed Iran-backed militia commander Abu Taqwa Al-Saedi in Iraq (and subsequent drama with the Iraqi government); the U.S.-led coalition dubbed Prosperity Guardian’s “final warning” to the Houthis; and the ISIS bombings at a memorial in Kerman, Iran for slain IRGC-QF commander Qassim Suleimani.
The Houthi attacks “constitute a significant international problem that demands collective action.” The Houthis said that the attacks will continue.
The IDF says it is in a high state of readiness in the wake of the killing of Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri in Lebanon on January 2. Israel did not take responsibility for the killing, but pro-Iranian groups like Hezbollah have blamed Israel. Meanwhile, Red Sea tensions increased with the Houthis continuing to target commercial ships.
The U.S. hit three Hezbollah Brigades facilities after three U.S. soldiers were wounded, including one critically, in a drone strike at a U.S. airbase in Erbil. the handful of U.S. strikes has not deterred the militias or their Iranian masters.
Bill is joined by CDR Salamander to discuss the coalition announced today by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during his trip to the Middle East. The coalition — made up of the UK, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain in partnership with the US — was formed with the objective of “ensuring freedom of navigation in the Red Sea” following the recent uptick in Houthi aggression and attacks in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden area.
The U.S. announces the formation of Operation Prosperity Guardian as Houthi attacks have ground international shipping transiting the Red Sea through the Suez Canal to a halt as multiple shippers are now bypassing the dangerous waterway. It is unclear if the operation will be offensive or defensive in nature.
Bill and Joe discuss the latest issues emanating from Israel’s defensive war in Gaza, including the tragic death of the three Israeli hostages mistakenly shot by IDF soldiers, the massive labyrinth of tunnels continuing to be discovered by the IDF and controversy surrounding the decision to flood them, and use by Hamas of suicide bombers — Joe explains why one case is different.
IDF infantry faces tough battles in Gaza’s Shujaiya neighborhood. In Khan Yunis, terrorists fired at IDF soldiers from a school. Hezbollah launched rockets at Rosh HaNikra in Israel’s nort,h and Israeli President Isaac Hezog said the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen have crossed a “red line” in attacks on ships.
Bill and Joe are joined again by FDD Senior Fellow and Iran expert Behnam Ben Taleblu to discuss the latest regional updates surrounding Israel’s war against Hamas (and then some).
The attack is the latest by the Houthis against international shipping and U.S. Navy warships. The U.S. military has yet to respond to repeated attacks on U.S. warships and commercial vessels.
Bill and Joe are back with an update on Israel’s now-resumed war in Gaza, and they’re joined by FDD Senior Fellow and Hezbollah expert David Daoud. They discuss the latest activity from Hezbollah at Israel’s border with Lebanon, U.S. funding to the Lebanese Armed Forces (or as Bill calls it: “giving crack to a crackhead”), the pieces in play on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s regional chessboard, and more.
The USS Carney shot down an Iranian-supplied KAS-04 UAV as it was “was heading toward the warship.” The UAV was likley launched by the Iranian-backed Houthis.
Bill and Joe are back with an update on the latest from Israel and Gaza, starting with the release by Hamas of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel amidst the backdrop of a still-holding ceasefire.
They’re also joined again by FDD Senior Fellow and Iran expert Behnam Ben Taleblu to unpack the latest regional aggression covered with Tehran’s fingerprints, including more missiles fired at U.S. and Israeli assets in the region (and why one incident last week was actually a “game-changer”) as well as the latest string of maritime hijackings off the coast of Yemen.
The anti-ship ballistic missiles, which were fired by the Houthis after a U.S. warship foiled a hijacking in the Gulf of Aden, missed their mark. The U.S. military has not responded to the attack.
The Houthis boarded and seized the Israeli-linked Galaxy Leader cargo ship on November 19, taking 25 crewmembers captive. This piracy, which follows recent Houthi attacks against Israel, is part of a larger strategy by Iran to undermine maritime security and American interests while attempting to encircle, attack, and exhaust Israel.
The IMSC did not identify any of the “malign actors” that caused it to issue the warning, but it is clear the warning is in response to threats by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia.
Bill and Joe are back with an update on Israel’s ground offensive inside Gaza. They’re joined by FDD’s David May to discuss international pressure on Israel, trajectories and timelines, rumors about reporters from western outlets receiving tips and then traveling into Israel alongside Hamas on October 7, and more.
The Iran-backed militia in Yemen that is better known as the Houthis shot down an unmanned U.S. MQ-9 Reaper in international waters off the coast of Yemen. The Houthis have shot down four U.S. Reapers since 2017.
Today’s attack is the third by the Houthis that has targeted Israel, and the terror group has threatened more as Israel prepares its ground offensive into Gaza.
The USS Carney intercepted three missiles fired from Yemen as it was patrolling the Red Sea. The missiles appear to have been fired at Israel.
Abdul Malik al-Houthi says he willing to support ‘the Palestinian people’ with rocket barrages if the United States intervenes to support Israel.
Yemen’s Houthis renewed attacks against Saudi Arabia by launching three waves of assaults on Saturday and Sunday.