Yemen | US military strikes Houthi rebels again

(Hodeidah) The American army carried out a new strike on Saturday against Houthi rebel sites in Yemen after the latter increased their threats against international maritime traffic in the Red Sea.



Early Saturday, the Houthi channel, al-Masirah, reported strikes on at least one site in the capital Sanaa, under rebel control. “The American-British enemy is targeting (…) Sanaa, with a (certain) number of raids,” the media outlet said on its X account.

U.S. Central Military Command (Centcom) then confirmed a U.S. strike around 3:45 a.m. (7:45 p.m. Eastern Time) “against a radar site in Yemen.”

Early Saturday evening, a military source allied to the rebels and a police source announced that a new strike had hit the city of Hodeida (west), in response to a rocket attack carried out by the Houthis from this port city.

This strike was not immediately claimed.

An AFP correspondent in Hodeidah heard the sound of a missile followed by a powerful explosion, and an hour and a half later, another sound of a distant explosion.

In the context of the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, triggered by the unprecedented attack carried out by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Israeli soil on October 7, tension has risen in the Red Sea in recent weeks with repeated Houthi attacks targeting maritime traffic in solidarity with the Palestinians.

US President Joe Biden, whose country is allied to Israel, had threatened the rebels to strike their positions if they did not stop their attacks.

” Self-defense ”

Attacks by the Houthis, who control large areas of Yemen, are carried out with missiles and drones. They have pushed many shipowners to abandon the Red Sea corridor between Europe and Asia, at the cost of increased costs and transport time.

In response, Washington set up a multinational coalition in December to protect maritime traffic in this area through which 12% of world trade passes.

However, the Houthis continued their operations and launched 18 drones and three missiles into the Red Sea on Tuesday, which were shot down by three American destroyers, a British ship and combat planes. The British government spoke of the “largest attack” by Yemeni rebels to date.

PHOTO UK MOD BY REUTERS

A Eurofighter Typhoon fighter which participated in the American-British strikes.

Earlier this week, the UN Security Council demanded an “immediate” end to their attacks and Washington warned of reprisals in the event of further attacks in the Red Sea.

But on Thursday, the Houthis fired another anti-ship missile.

Early Friday, American and British strikes then targeted military sites held by the rebels in Sanaa and in the governorates of Hodeida, Taiz (south), Hajjah (northwest) and Saada (north), the spokesperson said. military of the Houthis, while the American army had mentioned 30 military positions targeted out of a total of more than 150 strikes.

After these strikes, the Houthis fired “at least one missile” which, however, did not hit any ships, the US military said before the Saturday morning strike carried out by the destroyer USS Carney using Tomahawk missiles.

Blaming the Houthis for having ignored “repeated warnings from the international community”, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the strikes as “necessary (…) measures in self-defense”.

“Great concern”

At the UN, Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on “all parties concerned to avoid escalation (…) in the interest of peace and stability in the Red Sea and the wider region”. according to its spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

PHOTO YUKI IWAMURA, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE ARCHIVES

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called on “all parties” to avoid “escalation” following strikes by the United States and the United Kingdom against the Houthis in Yemen.

The United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, for his part, expressed his “deep concern” on Saturday and called for “privileging diplomatic channels,” according to a press release.

In a joint statement, Washington, London and eight of their allies, including Australia, Canada and Bahrain, stressed that their objective was “de-escalation” in the Red Sea.

But in Moscow, the Kremlin condemned Western strikes “illegitimate from the point of view of international law”, just like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking of a “disproportionate” response.

The Houthi movement is part of the “axis of resistance” established by Iran, which brings together groups hostile to Israel in the region, notably Lebanese Hezbollah and armed groups in Iraq and Syria.

Iran, a key backer of Yemen’s rebels and Israel’s number one enemy, has condemned a “blatant violation of the sovereignty” of Yemen.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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