- The US and Britain have carried out several attacks on the Houthis in Yemen
- The first US strike in Yemen took place on January 12 in response to Houthi attacks on civilian and military ships in the Red Sea
- A bipartisan coalition of senators sent a letter to Biden questioning the strikes
A bipartisan coalition of senators warned Biden that they are concerned about escalating tensions in the Middle East as the administration unilaterally authorized military action in the region without congressional approval.
The US, in coordination with British forces, deployed cruise missiles in Yemen for the first time on January 11 in response to Houthi attacks on civilian and military ships in the Red Sea. The US and Britain carried out eight more attacks against the Iran-backed terrorist group on January 22.
In addition, the Houthis launched missiles at container ships today, indicating that the conflict between Iran and the US continues.
The strikes have sparked a debate over whether the US is at war in the Middle East.
‘They’re shooting at us. We are shooting at them,” Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama said on Tuesday. ‘I guess you could call it war. I don’t know any other way to say it.’
However, when asked on Saturday whether the US is at war, the Pentagon quickly dismissed the idea.
“We don’t think we are at war,” Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said.
Footage shows flames erupting during a major bombardment of Yemen by British and US forces on January 11
In a letter to President Biden obtained by DailyMail.com, two Republicans and two Democrats questioned the president’s legal authority and tactical reasoning behind the attacks.
“As tensions rise in the region, we believe that U.S. participation in another war in the Middle East cannot occur without congressional approval, after an open debate in which the American public can be informed of the benefits, risks and consequences. of such a conflict,” the letter to Biden said.
“While the Houthis and their supporters, namely Iran, bear responsibility for the escalation, the Constitution requires that the United States not take military action without a favorable vote from Congress unless there is a need to repel a sudden attack to beat.’
The letter was signed by Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Todd Young of Indiana, Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Mike Lee of Utah.
“The administration has stated that the attacks on Houthi targets to date have not and will not deter Houthi attacks, indicating that we are in the midst of an ongoing regional conflict that poses the risk of escalation the senators wrote in the letter.
The letter then asked the Biden administration to explain its understanding of “self-defense,” especially since the strikes “do not deter ongoing and future attacks by the Houthis.”
“We have long advocated for purposeful congressional processes and authorizations for decisions that endanger service members abroad. There is currently no congressional authorization for offensive U.S. military action against the Houthis.”
A fighter jet takes off from the USS Dwight D Eisenhower on January 12 as the US conducts airstrikes on Houthi targets
Biden has said the US strikes are in response to ‘unprecedented Houthi attacks’
Crew aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower prepares fighter jets for launch
Britain’s Royal Air Force launched several Typhoon fighter jets to assist in the attacks
The letter also asks the administration to explain when U.S. forces are involved in hostilities in Yemen and the Red Sea, and the president’s legal rationale for the unilateral military action.
Warship- and submarine-launched Tomahawk missiles, as well as fighter jets, were used on January 22 to take out Houthi missile depots and launchers, according to US defense officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said four Typhoon fighter jets, supported by a pair of Voyager tankers, flew from Cyprus to join US forces in the airstrikes.
According to the Air Force, during the January 11 barrage, the US used more than 100 precision missiles that struck more than 60 targets in 16 locations around 2:30 a.m. local time.
The attacks came from fighter jets, Navy destroyers and a submarine, Biden said after the attack.