US Prepares for Open-Ended War Against the Houthis in Yemen

Biden has bombed Yemen seven times in just over a week and the Houthis are not backing down as they welcome confrontation with the US

US officials told The Washington Post on Saturday that the Biden administration is planning for a “sustained military campaign” against the Houthis in Yemen even as over a week of near-daily bombing has done nothing to deter the group and has only dramatically escalated the situation.

The officials could not put any timeline on how long the conflict will last, only saying they don’t expect it to drag on for “years,” like the US wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. The report said the officials acknowledged they can not identify an “end date or provide an estimate for when the Yemenis’ military capability will be adequately diminished.”

Some US officials are worried the plans for an open-ended conflict against the Houthis will shatter the fragile truce between warring factions in Yemen, which includes a US-backed Saudi/UAE-led coalition. So far, Riyadh has urged restraint and distanced itself from the US’s anti-Houthi operations.

The US-backed Saudi-led war against the Houthis killed at least 377,000 people between 2015 and 2022, according to the UN. More than half died of disease and starvation caused by the brutal bombing campaign and blockade. Most Yemenis are still reliant on aid due to the war, and the new US operations have already disrupted some relief efforts.

For their part, the Houthis, formally known as Ansar Allah, have welcomed the direct war with the US, saying it will only make them stronger. “We praise god for this great blessing and great honor — for us to be in a direct confrontation with Israel and America,” said Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.

Before the US began bombing the Houthis, Ansar Allah officials made clear they would only stop attacking Israeli-linked commercial shipping if the onslaught on Gaza ended. Instead of pressuring Israel to end the slaughter in Gaza, President Biden chose escalation, and now the Houthis are targeting US commercial shipping, and several US merchant vessels have been hit with missiles.

President Biden acknowledged his strikes on the Houthis were ineffective but vowed they would continue anyway. When asked by a reporter if the attacks were working, Biden said, “Well, when you say ‘working’ — are they stopping the Houthis? No. Are they going to continue? Yes.”

Since the strikes started on January 12, the US has bombed Yemen seven times. Bloomberg reported on Friday that the US and the UK were exploring ways to step up the campaign against the Houthis, signaling the strikes will intensify.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.