The US struck up to 10 drones preparing to launch from Houthi sites in Yemen overnight but the White House is still keeping its plans for a response to a deadly raid on an American military base behind closed doors.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden said he has decided how the US will respond to the drone attack on a military base in Jordan, which killed three US service personnel.
President Biden’s administration says it believes militants backed by Iran were behind the drone strike.
No further information on the US response has been revealed since then.
However, the American military has continued its airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen after the group repeatedly targeted commercial vessels in the region.
Latest as US strikes multiple Houthi targets in Yemen
The latest strikes were carried out at 1.30am local time on Thursday morning, when a US Navy ship also shot down three Iranian drones and a Houthi anti-ship missile, US Central Command said.
“This action will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for US Navy vessels and merchant vessels,” the command centre said in a statement.
Houthi attacks on ships in and around the Red Sea have slowed trade between Asia and Europe and alarmed major powers concerned that the war in Gaza may become a regional conflict.
No US soldiers had been killed in the region since the Israel-Hamas war began in October last year – until the drone strike on Tower 22, a military base in northeast Jordan.
Pressure has grown on Mr Biden to respond, with the US believing an Iran-backed group was responsible for the attack.
While the White House still hasn’t revealed further information, Sky News’s US partner network NBC News reported on Wednesday the response could form a “campaign” that could last for weeks.
Among the expected targets are Iranian sites outside of Iran, with other locations across several countries also in US attack plans.
The campaign could include strikes and cyber operations.
What are Biden’s options for a response?
Deaths pose major problem for Biden
Iran promises ‘decisive’ response to any US attack
Defence and security analyst Professor Michael Clarke told Sky News one option could be to target Iranian ships in the Red Sea and connecting waters.
“The Americans might regard that as a sensible target since they’re all part of Iran’s attempts to create a crisis for America,” he added.