Yemen's Houthi rebels vow more attacks on Israel: Statement

AFP , Tuesday 31 Oct 2023

Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels on Tuesday pledged more attacks against Israel if its war on Gaza continues, saying it had already fired drones and ballistic missiles in three separate operations.

Houthi fighters
Houthi fighters gather during a military maneuver near Sanaa, Yemen, October 30, 2023. Photo courtesy of the Houthi Media Center.


"We will continue to carry out qualitative strikes with missiles and drones until the Israeli aggression stops," said a Houthi military statement aired on the rebels' Al-Masirah TV.

It said, our fighters "launched a large batch of ballistic missiles... and a large number of armed aircraft" towards Israel on Tuesday, in the third such operation since the war on Gaza began on October 7.

Earlier, Israel's military said a "hostile aircraft intrusion" had set off warning sirens in Eilat, its Red Sea resort, later saying it had intercepted a "surface-to-surface missile" fired toward Israeli territory, that was "successfully intercepted by the 'Arrow' aerial defence system".

"All aerial threats were intercepted outside of Israeli territory," it said.

Abdelaziz bin Habtour, prime minister of the Houthi government, on Tuesday said the rebels were "part of the axis of resistance" against Israel, which includes  Tehran-backed groups in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and were fighting with both "words and drones".

"It is one axis and there is coordination taking place, a joint operations room, and a joint command for all these operations," he said.

"We cannot allow this arrogant Zionist enemy to kill our people"

The Houthis seized Yemen's capital Sanaa in 2014 and control large swathes of the country

Targeting southern Israel 

Israel had blamed the Houthis for a drone attack on Friday, saying its aircraft had intercepted "hostile targets" headed for southern Israel.

At the same time, six people were lightly injured when debris hit a building across the border from Eilat in the neighbouring Egyptian resort of Taba, the Egyptian army said at the time.

On October 19, the US Navy said it shot down three land-attack cruise missiles and "several" drones fired by the Houthis, possibly at Israel.

Israel has been pounding Gaza since the October 7 and killed more than 8,500 people, over 3,500 of them children, according to the Palestainian health ministry in Gaza, an impoverished slice of land which is home to 2.4 million people.

Concerns are high over a regional conflagration, especially as Iran, which financially and militarily backs Hamas but insists it had no involvement in the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7, has loyalists and proxy fighters in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Since the war on Gaza began, there have been a string of attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria as well as almost daily exchanges of fire across the Israel-Lebanon border between Hezbollah and the Israeli army.

On Sunday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned on X, formerly Twitter, that Israel had "crossed the red lines, and this may force everyone to take action", without elaborating.


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