US and UK interests now legitimate targets: Houthis

Mohamed Badereldin, Friday 12 Jan 2024

The Houthis strongly condemned on Friday the brutal aggression carried out by American and British forces on Yemen, saying that all US and British interests have become "legitimate targets."

Image provided by the UK Ministry of Defence shows an RAF Typhoon aircraft taking off from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, for a mission to strike Yemen. AP


The Houthi-led Supreme Political Council stated in a press release that the Yemeni response is legitimate within the framework of the sacred defense of Yemen, its sovereignty, independence, and freedom of decision-making. This is in response to the "direct and declared aggression against the Republic of Yemen," referencing the American and British strikes on Yemen.

The statement further criticized the US and the UK, stating that their attack was the real threat to international peace and security, exposing the region to real dangers.

The statement referred to the continued support for Israeli crimes in Gaza "by these aggressors" and highlighted the devastating onslaught of 73 airstrikes on Yemen.

A joint statement issued on Friday by the US and the UK highlighted that the strikes aimed to "disrupt and degrade" the Houthi's capabilities to threaten global trade and the lives of international mariners.

The statement, supported by only 10 countries including the Netherlands, Canada, Bahrain, and Australia, emphasized that the strikes were conducted in line with the right of individual and collective self-defense, consistent with the UN Charter.

The UK Ministry of Defence revealed its role in the attacks, stating that four RAF Typhoon FGR4s, assisted by a Voyager air refueling tanker, conducted strikes on two Houthi sites connected to attacks on Red Sea shipping. The targets included a site at Bani used for drone operations and the airfield at Abbs, which was involved in launching cruise missiles and drones over the Red Sea.

The US Air Force command in the Middle East reported that it struck more than 60 targets at 16 sites across Yemen, including command-and-control nodes, munitions depots, launching systems, production facilities, and air defense radar systems. The targeted sites were located in Saada, Abs, Sanaa, Hodeidah, Taiz, Bani, and Zabid.

While the strikes were nominally aimed at de-escalating tensions and restoring stability in the Red Sea, tensions have only increased with Houthis issuing a strong response.

The Houthi's statement emphasized that Washington and London aggression will not go unanswered and without punishment.

The Yemeni Armed Forces declared their unwavering commitment to target "all sources of threat and hostile targets on land and at sea, in defense of Yemen, its sovereignty, and its independence."

They affirmed their determination to continue preventing Israeli ships, whether heading to occupied Palestinian ports or elsewhere, from navigating in the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea.

The repercussions of the airstrikes on Red Sea shipping are already being felt. Shipping data from LSEG and Kpler shows that at least four oil tankers have diverted course from the Red Sea.

The price of oil has spiked 4% this morning. A barrel of Brent crude is currently at $80.55.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also weighed in on the situation, criticizing the US and British strikes as a disproportionate use of force.

Erdogan accused the two countries of trying to turn the Red Sea into a "sea of blood." He stated that Ankara was hearing from various channels that Houthi forces were carrying out a "successful defense" against the US and Britain.


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