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Yemen's Houthi rebels warn of 'strong, effective' retaliation against US strikes
Representative Image/Courtesy: Unsplash

Yemen's Houthi rebels warn of 'strong, effective' retaliation against US strikes

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 14 Jan 2024, 04:29 pm

Sanna (Yemen): The Houthi militia have warned of a "strong and effective response" following the recent U.S. strike in Yemen, Reuters reported.

This has heightened tensions as the United States is committed to safeguarding shipping from attacks by the Iran-aligned movement.

The strikes raise concerns about the intensifying conflict in the Middle East, which originated from the war between the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel.

Iran's allies in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq have joined the war against Israel, which further complicated the situation.

Image Credit: Joe Biden Instagram pageImage Credit: Joe Biden Instagram page

Meanwhile, the United States had sent a private message to Iran about the Houthi attacks, President Joe Biden said.

He did not reveal much, telling reporters, "We delivered it privately, and we're confident we're well-prepared."

The most recent strike, reportedly targeting a radar site, occurred just one day after numerous American and British strikes on Houthi facilities in Yemen.

"This new strike will have a firm, strong and effective response," Houthi spokesperson Nasruldeen Amer told Al Jazeera, adding there had been no injuries nor "material damage," according to the Reuters report.

Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam stated that recent strikes, including one hitting a military base in Sanaa, had no significant impact on their ability to hinder Israel-affiliated vessels in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon underscored the "good effects" from the US-British strikes.

UN special envoy Hans Grundberg urged maximum restraint, pointing out the increasingly precarious situation.

The Houthis assert their maritime campaign supports Palestinians, targeting vessels with no known Israel connection.

Controlling Sanaa and much of Yemen, they've also launched drones and missiles toward Israel.

The guided-missile destroyer Carney used Tomahawk missiles in a subsequent strike early on Saturday local time.

According to a statement from US Central Command, the purpose of the strike was to "degrade the Houthis' ability to attack maritime vessels, including commercial vessels."

According to the Reuters report, Yemenis see the attacks as an act of "brutal aggression" and marked a new stage of a war Yemen has endured for 10 years and feel that supporting the Palestinians is a "religious and moral duty."

Image Credit: YouTube Video grabImage Credit: YouTube Video grab

On Friday, large crowds, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, gathered in Sanaa, as shown in footage broadcast by the Houthis' Al-Masirah TV. The demonstrators were chanting slogans condemning Israel and the United States.

White House spokesperson John Kirby said that the initial strikes had been aimed at Houthis' capacity to store, launch, and guide missiles or drones, weapons the group has utilized to menace shipping.

Kirby maintained that Washington had no plans of engaging in a war with Yemen. The Houthis reported that five fighters were killed in the initial strikes.

It is noteworthy that the Biden administration had removed the Houthis from a State Department list of "foreign terrorist organizations" in 2021.

When reporters asked Kirby whether their acts now described the movement as "terrorist", he said, "I think they are.”

The Red Sea crisis has led to the spiralling of conflict across the Middle East, stemming from the October 7 attack by Hamas militants in southern Israel, resulting in 1,200 casualties and the abduction of 240 hostages.

In response, Israel has launched an extensive attack in Gaza, with the aim to eradicate Hamas.

According to the Gaza health ministry, a total of 23,843 Palestinians have lost their lives in Israeli strikes on the enclave since the events of October 7.

Meanwhile, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia alleged that the US and Britain "single-handedly triggered a spillover of the conflict (in Gaza) to the entire region."

While there is no sign so far that Iran will be involved in a direct conflict, the United States has accused the country of providing arms and intelligence to the Houthi rebels.

Iran has condemned the American and British strikes for the strike on Houthi rebels.

Representational Image/Courtesy: PixabayRepresentational Image/Courtesy: Pixabay

Houthi attacks have compelled commercial vessels to choose a longer and more expensive route around Africa, triggering concerns over potential inflation and disruptions in the supply chain.

Consequently, there has been a considerable increase in container shipping rates for certain global routes throughout the week.

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