On Thursday, the U.S. military launched a series of strikes in Yemen in response to repeated attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea by the Iranian-back Houthi rebel group.

While some are concerned tensions in the Middle East could escalate into World War III, U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) said the recent strikes were "long overdue" to reestablish deterrence in the area.

"Reestablishing deterrence in the Red Sea—and across the globe—is crucial for U.S. national security. Today's strikes are long overdue, as is an enduring return to peace through strength. The President should immediately redesignate the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization."

According to the BBC, the Houthis have found common cause with Hamas and vowed to attack any ship traveling to Israel.

Biden said in a statement Thursday more than 50 countries have been impacted by 27 Houthi attacks on vessels navigating the Red Sea. The United Kingdom, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands supported the U.S. military in Thursday's retaliation.

"Last week, together with 13 allies and partners, we issued an unequivocal warning that Houthi rebels would bear the consequences if their attacks did not cease," Biden said. "... Today's defensive action follows this extensive diplomatic campaign and Houthi rebels' escalating attacks against commercial vessels. These targeted strikes are a clear message that the United States and our partners will not tolerate attacks on our personnel or allow hostile actors to imperil freedom of navigation in one of the world's most critical commercial routes."

He added, "I will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary."

To connect with the story's author or comment, email [email protected] or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.