US and UK Launch Military Strikes in Yemen Amid Rising Tensions in Red Sea

Aden, Yemen – The United States and Britain launched military strikes in Yemen on Friday in response to Houthi rebel attacks on shipping in the Red Sea. The strikes have raised concerns about a potential escalation of conflict in the region.

The Houthi rebels claimed that the attacks resulted in the deaths of five individuals. In retaliation, they declared that all US and British assets are now “legitimate targets.” US President Joe Biden justified the strikes, citing the Houthi rebels’ “unprecedented” attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea. He warned that he would not hesitate to take further action if necessary.

The strikes targeted nearly 30 locations in Yemen, utilizing more than 150 munitions, according to US Lieutenant General Douglas Sims. He reassured that casualties were expected to be relatively low as the targets were primarily in rural areas. However, he anticipated that the Houthis would likely attempt to retaliate.

In response to the strikes, the Houthis’ Supreme Political Council issued a statement, asserting that all American-British interests had become legitimate targets for the Yemeni armed forces. The rebels labeled the strikes on Yemen as “barbaric” and vowed to continue targeting ships bound for Israel as long as the conflict in Gaza persists.

Yemen’s Saudi-backed government, recognized internationally, placed blame on the Houthi rebels for the UK and US strikes. The government accused the rebels of provoking military confrontation through their attacks in the Red Sea.

While the US military closely monitors the situation, no retaliatory attacks from the Houthis have been observed thus far, according to Pentagon spokesperson Pat Ryder. He emphasized that the objective is to safeguard the Red Sea, ensuring the safety of international shipping and mariners.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis gathered in various cities across the country to denounce the US and British strikes and express support for Palestinians in Gaza. Mohammed Abdul-Salam, the Houthis’ chief negotiator and spokesperson, criticized the military intervention, describing it as “treacherous aggression.” He declared that the Houthis’ targeting would continue to affect Israeli ships or those heading towards Israeli ports.

The strikes mark the first military intervention by the US in response to drone and missile attacks on commercial ships since Israel’s conflict with Gaza began in October. The Houthi movement, which controls a significant portion of Yemen after years of war against a Western-backed coalition, stands as a staunch supporter of Hamas in its fight against Israel.

Reiterating the UK’s position, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak deemed the strikes “necessary and proportionate.” Early assessments indicate that the Houthis’ ability to threaten merchant shipping has been significantly weakened.

The situation will be continuously monitored, and there are no immediate plans for further strikes against Houthi targets, according to Sunak’s office.

It is crucial to note that this article does not quote any news organizations.