Houthis launch fresh drone, missile attacks from Yemen: US

AFP , Saturday 1 Jun 2024

Yemen's Houthis launched several drones and two ballistic missiles on Friday, the US military said, after deadly overnight strikes by American and British forces prompted retaliatory threats from the rebels.

Houthi fighters and tribesmen stage a rally against US and UK strikes on Houthi-run military sites near Sanaa, Yemen. AP


US Central Command (CENTCOM) said it intercepted four drones launched by the Houthis -- three over the Red Sea and another over the Gulf of Aden -- while a fifth drone crashed.

The Houthis also launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles, according to CENTCOM, which said no injuries or damage were reported from US, coalition or commercial ships.

Earlier on Friday, the Houthis had threatened to step up their attacks on Israel-linked Red Sea shipping after overnight strikes by the United States and Britain killed 16 people and wounded dozens.

In a statement on X, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said 16 people were killed and more than 40 wounded in Hodeida alone, including an unspecified number of civilians.

In response, the rebels launched a missile attack on US aircraft carrier the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea, Saree said, asserting that the Houthis "will not hesitate to respond directly and immediately" to attacks on "Yemeni territories".

The toll announced by the Houthis would make the strikes some of the deadliest since the United States and Britain launched a campaign against the disruption of the vital trade route in January.

The rebels, who control much of Yemen, have carried out dozens of drone and missile attacks on ships since November to press Israel to end its bloodiest-ever war on Gaza that has killed thousands of Palestinians.

At a demonstration in Sanaa, Hussein Ali, a resident of the rebel-held capital, voiced his defiance toward the US and UK strikes on Yemen and expressed support for Palestinians in Gaza.

"No matter how much they bomb us, this won't stop us at all," he told AFP. "Even if they destroy the houses on top of us, we won't back down from the Palestinian issue."

The Houthi attacks have forced commercial vessels to divert from the shipping route, which normally carries about 12 percent of global trade.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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