In the latest developments, Iran-backed Houthi rebels have issued a stern warning in response to joint U.S.-British retaliatory airstrikes. The situation escalates as the Israeli-Hamas conflict inches towards a broader regional crisis. Houthis spokesperson Ameen Hayyan emphasized that retaliatory airstrikes will not sway their support for the Palestinian people in Gaza.
U.S. and British Airstrikes
U.S. and British forces conducted airstrikes on 36 rebel targets in Yemen, following previous strikes on 85 sites linked to Iran-backed militant groups in Syria and Iraq. These actions come after months of attacks on U.S. bases, including a drone strike near the Syrian border that claimed three American lives.
The Houthi group, targeted for their attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, pledges to stand firm. This marks the third joint operation against the Houthis, who claim solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza since the Hamas assault on Israeli border communities.
Secretary of Defense’s Statement
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stated that the recent response aimed to degrade Houthi capabilities fueling their “reckless and unlawful attacks.”
Iran’s Warning on Cargo Ships
Iran issues a warning against targeting two cargo ships suspected of hosting Iranian commandos, namely Behshad and Saviz. These vessels, registered as commercial ships, are associated with a Tehran-based company sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury for supporting Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.
Civilian Casualties and Accusations
Reports from the Palestinian news agency Wafa highlight civilian casualties, including children, in an Israeli attack on a kindergarten in Rafah, southern Gaza. Israel, in turn, accuses Hamas of using schools and public spaces as cover, alleging the use of civilians as human shields.
The geopolitical landscape remains tense as nations navigate the complex dynamics of the Middle East, with military actions, warnings, and civilian casualties unfolding in rapid succession. Stay tuned for further updates on this evolving situation.