US and UK Air Strikes Won't Deter Houthi Rebels, Says Spokesperson


The Houthi group has stated that the US and UK airstrikes "will not deter us" and has promised to retaliate after dozens of targets were struck in response to repeated attacks in the Red Sea by the Iran-backed rebels.

The joint airstrikes in Yemen on Saturday night were condemned by Iran, following a wave of unilateral US attacks on targets linked to Iran in Iraq and Syria in response to drone attacks that killed three US soldiers in Jordan.

This marks the third time that US and British forces have targeted the Houthi group, whose attacks, seen as a show of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, have disrupted global trade.

The United States has also conducted a series of airstrikes against the Yemeni rebels, but their attacks on the crucial Red Sea shipping lanes continue.

Saturday's strikes hit "36 Houthi targets in 13 locations," said the United States, Britain, and other countries supporting the operation in a statement.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the strikes were "intended to further disrupt and degrade the capabilities of the Iran-backed Houthi militia in carrying out reckless attacks and destabilizing stability."

Both Austin and the joint statement did not identify specific locations targeted, but Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said the capital Sanaa and other rebel-held areas were hit.

Saree reported a total of 48 airstrikes and said on the X social media platform that "these attacks will not deter us from... our stance in supporting the steadfast Palestinian people in Gaza," where the Israel-Hamas conflict has been raging since early October.

The latest attacks "will not go unanswered and unpunished," Saree said.

New Terror of War

The British Defense Ministry said Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets targeted two ground control stations used to operate attack and reconnaissance drones.

Austin said the targets included "locations associated with weapon storage facilities, systems and missile launchers, air defense systems, and buried radar owned by the Houthi."

There were no reports of casualties.

In Houthi-held Sanaa, 35-year-old Hamed Ghanem said his family "feared when we heard the attack."

"We hope the war will end, and now only God knows how long this war will last," said the father of five to AFP.

Analysts say the escalating tensions could thwart efforts to mediate a ceasefire between the Houthi group and the Saudi-backed military seeking to oust them since 2015.

A UN-mediated ceasefire in April 2022 resulted in a sharp reduction in hostilities, and although the ceasefire has long expired, the war in Yemen largely remains halted.

The Houthi group began targeting Red Sea shipping in November, claiming they were attacking ships linked to Israel to support Palestinians in Gaza, controlled by another Iran-backed armed group, Hamas.

US and British forces responded with attacks on the Houthi group, which has since declared US and British interests as legitimate targets as well.

Separately, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said its forces targeted Houthi anti-ship missiles "ready to be launched at ships in the Red Sea" on Sunday morning.

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

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