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.