The effectiveness of the Jan. 11 Thursday night U.S.-U.K. air and missile strikes has been questioned by the New York Times. Two unnamed U.S. officials told the Times that the strikes against sites in Yemen controlled by the Houthi militia damaged or destroyed about 90% of the targets struck, but the group retained about three-quarters of its ability to fire missiles and drones at ships transiting the Red Sea. They said that even after hitting more than 60 missile and drone targets with more than 150 precision-guided munitions, the strikes had damaged or destroyed only about 20% to 30% of the Houthis’ offensive capability, much of which is mounted on mobile platforms and can be readily moved or hidden.
Finding Houthi targets is proving to be more challenging than anticipated. American and other Western intelligence agencies have not spent significant time or resources in recent years collecting data on the location of Houthi air defenses, command hubs, munitions depots and storage and production facilities for drones and missiles, the officials said.