Yemen rebels announce first civilian death in US-UK strikes

AFP , Monday 26 Feb 2024

Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels have reported the first civilian death in US and British air strikes after the latest round of joint raids over the weekend.

Newly recruited Houthi fighters attend a protest march against the U.S.-led strikes on Yemen and the
Newly recruited Houthi fighters attend a protest march against the U.S.-led strikes on Yemen and the Israeli war in the Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, in Sanaa, Yemen. AP

 

One person was killed and eight wounded, the Houthis' official news agency said late on Sunday, a day after US and British forces said they fired on 18 targets across the country.

The US-British strikes were in response to dozens of Houthi drone and missile attacks on Red Sea shipping since November, which the rebels say are in solidarity with Palestinians in the Israeli war on Gaza.

"The American-British aggression on the district of Maqbana in the governorate of Taiz has left one civilian dead and eight wounded," the Houthis' Saba agency said, citing a statement from the rebel-run health ministry.

The Houthis, who control war-torn Yemen's most populated areas, have previously reported the death of 17 of their fighters in the Western strikes targeting military facilities.

The Houthi attacks have had a significant effect on traffic through the busy Red Sea route, forcing some companies into a two-week detour around southern Africa. Last week, Egypt said Suez Canal revenues were down by up to 50 percent this year.

Washington, Israel's vital ally, gathered an international coalition in December to protect Red Sea traffic. It has launched several rounds of strikes as well as four joint raids with Britain, which began last month.

The Houthis initially said they were targeting Israel-linked shipping in the Red Sea and adjoining Gulf of Aden, but then declared that US and British interests were also "legitimate" targets.

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