Houthis vow response after US, UK strike Yemen targets

Houthis vow response after US, UK strike Yemen targets

/ 09:33 AM February 05, 2024

A missile is launched from a U.S. Navy warship against what they describe as Houthi military targets in Yemen

A Tomahawk land attack missile (TLAM) is launched from the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely against what the U.S. military describes as Houthi military targets in Yemen, February 3, 2024. U.S. Central Command/Handout via REUTERS.

Sanaa, Yemen — Yemen’s Houthis said Sunday that US and British air strikes “will not deter us” and vowed a response after dozens of targets were hit in retaliation for the Iran-backed rebels’ repeated Red Sea attacks.

The joint air raids in Yemen late Saturday, denounced by Iran, followed a separate wave of unilateral American strikes against Iran-linked targets in Iraq and Syria in response to a drone attack that killed three US soldiers in Jordan.


It was the third time that British and American forces have jointly targeted the Houthis, whose attacks in solidarity with Palestinians in war-battered Gaza have disrupted global trade.


The United States has also carried out a series of air raids against the Yemeni rebels on its own, but their attacks on the vital Red Sea trade route have persisted.

Saturday’s strikes hit “36 Houthi targets across 13 locations”, the United States, Britain and other countries that provided support for the operation said in a statement.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the strikes “are intended to disrupt further and degrade the capabilities of the Iranian-backed Huthi militia to conduct their reckless and destabilizing attacks.”

Neither Austin nor the joint statement identified the specific places that were hit, but Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said the capital, Sanaa, and other rebel-held areas were targeted.

Saree reported a total of 48 air strikes and said on social media platform X that “these attacks will not deter us from our… stance in support of the steadfast Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip,” where the Israel-Hamas war has raged since early October.

The latest strikes “will not pass without response and punishment,” Saree said.


Dashed hopes

Britain’s defense ministry said Royal Air Force Typhoon warplanes struck two ground control stations used to operate attack and reconnaissance drones.

Austin said targets included “locations associated with the Houthis’ deeply buried weapons storage facilities, missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, and radars.”

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

In rebel-held Sanaa, 35-year-old resident Hamed Ghanem said his family was “scared when we heard the strikes”.

“We had hope that the war would end, and now God knows how long” it might go on for, the father of five told AFP.

Analysts have said rising tensions could derail efforts to broker a ceasefire between the Houthis and a Saudi-backed military coalition that mobilized to topple them in 2015.

A UN-brokered truce in April 2022 brought a sharp reduction in hostilities, and while it had long expired, Yemen’s war has since largely remained on hold.

The Houthis began targeting Red Sea shipping in November, saying they were hitting Israel-linked vessels in support of Palestinians in Gaza, ruled by another Iran-backed armed group, Hamas.

US and UK forces responded with strikes against the Houthis, who have since declared American and British interests to be legitimate targets as well.

Separately, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said its forces carried out a strike against a Houthi anti-ship missile that “prepared to launch against ships in the Red Sea” early Sunday.

CENTCOM had earlier launched strikes against six other Houthi anti-ship missiles, and on Friday, the US military said its forces had shot down eight drones in and near Yemen.


Anger over Israel’s devastating campaign in Gaza — which began after an unprecedented Hamas attack on October 7 — has grown across the Middle East, stoking violence involving Iran-backed groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

On January 28, a drone slammed into a base in Jordan, killing three US soldiers and wounding more than 40 — an attack Washington blamed on Tehran-aligned forces.

US and allied troops in the region have been attacked more than 165 times since mid-October, mostly in Iraq and Syria, but the Jordan deaths were the first from hostile fire during that period.

The United States responded Friday with strikes against dozens of targets at seven Iran-linked facilities in Iraq and Syria but did not hit Iranian territory.

Diplomatic sources have said the UN Security Council would convene Monday, after Russia called for a meeting “over the threat to peace and safety created by US strikes on Syria and Iraq”.

Iran denounced the Saturday strikes on Yemen, saying they “contradict” declared intentions by Washington and London to avoid a “wider conflict” in the Middle East.

Hamas called the US and British attacks “an escalation that will drag the region into further turmoil.”

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Tehran is ultimately responsible for the violence, telling the Sunday Times “what they’re doing through their proxies is unacceptable”.

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“You created them, you backed them, you financed them, you provided them with weapons, and you will ultimately be held accountable for what they do,” Cameron said.

TAGS: Houthis, Red Sea, world news

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