The US and UK struck Houthi targets in Yemen in response to attacks on ships in the Red Sea.
"Today, at my direction, U. S. military forces — together with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands-successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world's most vital waterways,” Joe Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
Biden added that he will "not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary," CNN reports.
The strikes targeted more than 60 objects at 16 locations, including command posts, arms depots, production facilities and air defence radars, U. S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Alex Grynkewich said.
The shelling targeted an air base north of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, as well as airports and Houthi camps in the west, southwest, north and northwest of the country, Houthi representatives said, CNN reports.
After the strikes, Houthi rebels launched surface-to-surface missiles and hit an American ship in the Red Sea, Iran's Tasnim agency said.
If the shelling continues, US and British army bases in the Middle East will be hit, Houthi spokesman Abdullah bin Amer said, Al Jazeera reports.
The US and UK will have to be prepared to pay a high price for their strikes, Yemeni Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Al-Ezzi said, AFP reports.
The Houthis have carried out 27 attacks on ships in the Red Sea since mid-November. They said that they would attack any ships owned by Israeli companies or flying the Israeli flag.
Yemen has been living in civil war since 2014. After the overthrow of the president, Iran-backed Houthi rebels took control of the capital and later seized power. They currently control the north of the country. Saudi-backed Sunnis from South Yemen did not recognise the rule of the Houthis.
Houthi rebels will continue to attack ships in the Red Sea, despite US and British airstrikes on their positions in Yemen, Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdel Salam said (Sky News Arabia).
"They committed a foolish act as they carried out this treacherous aggression, and they are mistaken if they think they will keep Yemen from supporting Palestine and Gaza," he said.
Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore supported airstrikes on Yemen. They called such attacks "legitimate self-defence.”
In connection with the strikes on Yemen, Russia requested an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council for January 12.
Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that the resolution of the UN Security Council that demanded the Houthis should immediately stop attacks on ships, did not provide any right to carry out strikes.
"A resolution was adopted, we abstained. The countries that carried out the strikes tried to provide an international legal basis for their actions. This attempt was unsuccessful, because the adopted resolution did not provide any right to strike. Accordingly, they are illegitimate from the point of view of international law," Peskov said.
At the same time, Russia has repeatedly called on the Houthis to abandon the practice of striking international commercial ships.
Airstrikes on Yemen come as "another example of how Anglo-Saxons distort UN Security Council resolutions and completely disregard international law to escalate the crisis in the region for their own destructive purposes,” Russian Foreign Ministry representative Maria Zakharova said.
French President Emmanuel Macron does not exclude sending NATO troops to Ukraine for security in Europe and for Russia's defeat in the conflict. There is currently no consensus on the need to send NATO troops to the country