The U.S. conducted two “self-defense strikes” in Yemen on Wednesday against three Houthi mobile anti-ship cruise missiles preparing to launch into the Red Sea, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced.Since Saturday, the U.S. has taken out 44 separate Houthi targets in joint airstrikes with the U.K. Meanwhile, the Houthis have launched 48 attacks on vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since Nov. 19.The U.S. military says the Houthi missiles were “prepared to launch” against ships in the Red Sea.”CENTCOM identified these missiles in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined they presented an imminent threat to U.S. Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region. These actions will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy and merchant vessels,” CENTCOM said in a statement.SEN. HAWLEY CLAPS BACK AS ‘PRO-TERRORIST’ ACTIVIST SHOUTS ‘HAMAS WILL NEVER BE ELIMINATED’ F-18 fighter jets from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower participated in air strikes on Houthi forces in Yemen on Jan. 22, 2023. (CENTCOM / X)US RETALIATORY STRIKES WILL PROVE ‘INEFFECTIVE’: KIRK LIPPOLDEarlier this week, CENTCOM published a video showing U.S. forces supporting joint strikes against Houthi militants.The video showed rockets launching from the ships in pitch-black darkness. The efforts were part of joint strikes against the Houthis, which included support from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Bahrain, the Netherlands and New Zealand.CENTCOM said that the Saturday strikes were launched by USS Carney, USS Gravely and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. A missile is launched from a warship during the U.S.-led coalition operation against Yemen’s Houthi rebels. (U.S. Central Command)US STRIKES HOUTHI ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILE INSIDE YEMEN, OFFICIAL SAYSDefense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the recent counterstrikes are aimed to “degrade the capabilities” of the Houthis.”These strikes are intended to further disrupt and degrade the capabilities of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia to conduct their reckless and destabilizing attacks against U.S. and international vessels lawfully transiting the Red Sea,” Austin said in a statement on Saturday. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the recent counterstrikes are aimed to “degrade the capabilities” of the Houthis. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”This collective action sends a clear message to the Houthis that they will continue to bear further consequences if they do not end their illegal attacks on international shipping and naval vessels,” he added. Fox News’ Liz Friden and Andrea Vacchiano contributed to this report Anders Hagstrom is a reporter with Fox News Digital covering national politics and major breaking news events. Send tips to Anders.Hagstrom@Fox.com, or on Twitter: @Hagstrom_Anders.