The Houthi rebels in Yemen announced at the start of Israel’s brutal war on Gaza that they will be targeting vessels bound for Israel in the southern Red Sea.
US and UK forces have unleashed a barrage of airstrikes on Yemen in response to the Houthi rebels’ Red Sea blockade of ships linked to Israel.
The assault, involving over 100 precision-guided munitions, struck several Yemeni governorates, including the capital Sanaa and the cities of Hodeidah, Saada, and Dhamar, in an operation described as “American-Israeli-British aggression” by Yemen’s SABA news agency.
US Central Command (CENTCOM) issued a statement alleging that the attacks were necessary measures against the Ansar Allah group, with Fox News quoting the U.S. military’s involvement in what they termed “multilateral coalition strikes”.
“We hold the Houthi militants and their destabilizing Iranian sponsors responsible for the illegal, indiscriminate, and reckless attacks on international shipping that have impacted 55 nations so far, including endangering the lives of hundreds of mariners, including the United States,” CENTCOM Commander General Michael Erik Kurilla said.
“Their illegal and dangerous actions will not be tolerated, and they will be held accountable,” Kurilla added.
The Houthis, known as the Ansar Allah group, have said their blockade targets ships linked to Israel only, and would end if the siege of Gaza is lifted.
A US official informed CNN that the US military executed the strikes using fighter jets and Tomahawk missiles.
The US-British strikes targeted the vicinity of Hodeidah Airport and Zabid District in the Hodeidah governorate, along with the Kahlan camp east of the city of Saada in northern Yemen.
The Pentagon has confirmed that the US targeted 12 sites across Yemen, conducted by a combination of warplanes, cruise missiles, and submarines.
In a report by Politico, a US Department of Defense official disclosed that the operation was carried out with support from Australia, the Netherlands, Bahrain, and Canada. The New York Times added that these countries provided logistical, intelligence, and other forms of support to the aggression.
Brigadier Abdullah ben Amer, Deputy Head of the Moral Guidance Department in the Yemeni Ministry of Defence, had previously stated that significant preparations were underway to confront the anticipated US-British aggression on Yemen.
In response to the US-UK led military operation, Ansar Allah reaffirmed their aim of supporting Palestine. Mohammed Abdul Salam, a spokesperson for the movement, strongly condemned the military aggression against Yemen.
“We affirm that there is absolutely no justification for this aggression against Yemen, as there was no threat to international navigation in the Red and Arabian seas, and the targeting was and will continue to affect Israeli ships or those heading to the ports of occupied Palestine,” Abdul Salam said.
Mohammad Ali al-Houthi, a member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, echoed these sentiments.
“The airstrikes [commanded] by America [the US] and Britain once again confirm that they are the ones commanding the aggression against Gaza, just as they command it against Yemen.”
He warned, “The airstrikes on the Republic of Yemen will not slide [without retaliation], and, God willing, the retaliatory measure will be coupled to the statement that will be published later.”