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Australia Supports US and UK Airstrikes on Houthi Rebels in Yemen Amid Escalating Tensions

Australia has confirmed its support for the recent US and UK airstrikes targeting Houthi rebel sites in Yemen, responding to continued attacks by the Iran-backed militia on commercial shipping in the Red Sea. Defence Minister Richard Marles revealed that Australian personnel were present in operational headquarters during the strikes.

The action follows a statement issued by 14 countries on January 4, warning the Houthi rebels of consequences if maritime attacks persisted. The airstrikes, launched around the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, targeted Houthi military sites in various governorates.

Australia’s involvement comes after the government rejected a US request in December 2023 to send a warship to the Red Sea but committed additional Defence Force officers to the Combined Maritime Forces Command in Bahrain. The Houthis, in response to the recent airstrikes, warned of retaliation against any American aggression, escalating tensions in the region.