February 7, 2024 | Flash Brief

Iran’s Proxies Continue Attacks Despite U.S. Strikes

February 7, 2024 | Flash Brief

Iran’s Proxies Continue Attacks Despite U.S. Strikes

Latest Developments

The Pentagon said on February 5 that Washington neither plans a full-scale war against Iran’s proxies in Iraq and Syria nor seeks an escalation against the Houthis in Yemen. Despite U.S. military action, Iran-backed terror proxies continue to attack U.S. forces in Iraq, Syria, and the Red Sea region. Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder confirmed that terrorists attacked U.S. forces in Syria twice since February 2, when U.S. forces conducted strikes on 85 targets belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its affiliated militias in Iraq and Syria. “To be clear, our goal is not … full-scale war against Iranian-proxy groups in Iraq and Syria,” Ryder told reporters. “That’s not what we’re there for. We’re there to conduct the mission in support of the defeat of ISIS.”

Expert Analysis

“Congress should not miss Rear Adm. Miguez’s remarks that Iran is providing the Houthis targeting information in the Red Sea. Is Iran providing information to target U.S. commercial or naval vessels? How is that Iranian targeting information being provided? What is being done to impede or end that flow of Iranian targeting information? Congress should demand answers and action from the administration.” Bradley Bowman, Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power

“It is deceptive for the Defense Department spokesman to imply that conducting a sustained campaign against the Houthis and IRGC proxies in Iraq and Syria is tantamount to a ‘full scale war.’ If the administration continues to rely chiefly on a defensive posture to deal with these threats, this will inevitably lead to an unacceptable cost in both blood and treasure for the U.S. military.” RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery, FDD Senior Fellow and Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology

Houthis Continue Attacks as U.S. Aims to Degrade Capabilities

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have continued their attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden. On February 3, U.S. and UK forces, with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, conducted strikes against 36 targets at 13 locations in Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said that the forces targeted Houthi assets used in attacks on ships, including “multiple underground storage facilities, command and control, missile systems, UAV storage and operations sites, radars, and helicopters.” It was the third joint strike by the United States and United Kingdom since January 12.

The United States has also conducted 14 unilateral strikes against the Houthis — including one on February 3, three on February 4, and one on February 5. On February 6, suspected Houthi drones attacked two ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, resulting in minor damage to one of them. Rear Adm. Marc Miguez, commander of Carrier Strike Group 2, told NBC Nightly News on February 5 that the Houthis “are getting intelligence from Iran. They are using Iran to give them some targeting information.”

U.S. Strikes IRGC and Iranian-Backed Proxies in Iraq and Syria,” FDD Flash Brief

Pentagon: Deadly Attack on U.S. Soldiers Facilitated by Iran,” FDD Flash Brief

Several U.S. Servicemen Injured After Ballistic Missile Attack in Iraq,” FDD Flash Brief

U.S., UK Forces Bomb Houthis’ Advanced Weapons,” FDD Flash Brief


Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Military and Political Power U.S. Defense Policy and Strategy