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The Houthi rebels in Yemen have promised to respond to the significant strikes conducted by the US and UK on Thursday, which targeted their supply facilities and logistical hubs.
A statement released by the Houthis on Friday, shared on Telegram, reported that 73 sites were hit, resulting in the death of five fighters and injuries to six others. The statement strongly condemned the attacks, declaring, “The American and British enemy bears full responsibility for this criminal aggression against our Yemeni people, and it will not go unanswered and unpunished.”
The targeted strikes by the US and UK focused on critical military locations throughout Yemen, including the capital, Sana’a. The operation utilized warships and fighter jets to disable Houthi missile, radar, and drone capabilities. The US stated that these strikes aimed to impair the Houthis’ ability to launch attacks in the Red Sea, where they have been disrupting global trade by targeting merchant ships.
The Houthis, backed by Iran, claim that their attacks are directed at Israeli-based ships or those en route to Israel as a form of protest against the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. However, their actions have broadly impacted numerous international commercial vessels, causing significant disruptions in the crucial Red Sea transit corridor.
Despite the recent strikes potentially diminishing Houthi capabilities, the group remains undeterred in their activities in the Red Sea. The Houthis have vowed to continue targeting perceived threats and hostile forces, both on land and at sea, as a defense measure for Yemen. They reaffirmed their commitment to opposing Israeli shipping in the Arabian and Red Seas, aligning themselves with the Palestinian cause.
In addition to the Houthi response, Iran, the primary supporter of the Houthis and other groups targeting US positions, also condemned the strikes. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani criticized the attacks for violating Yemeni sovereignty and warned of further instability and insecurity in the region as a consequence.