Israel says it thwarted air attacks launched by the Houthis in Yemen near the Red Sea

Muhammad Huwais/AFP/Getty Images

Soldiers stand guard against a missile carrier during an official military parade marking the ninth anniversary of the Houthi takeover of the capital Sanaa, Yemen on September 21, 2023.



CNN

The Israeli military announced on Tuesday that it had thwarted an air attack by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, with fears growing in the region about the potential for a war between Israel and Hamas to expand.

Dean. Brigadier General Yahya Saree, spokesman for the Houthi forces, told the Houthi-owned Al Masirah TV that ballistic missiles and drones were launched at targets in Israel in what he said was the third operation to support the Palestinian people.

He added that there are plans for more strikes until the “Israeli aggression” stops.

He said: “Our armed forces launched a large batch of ballistic and winged missiles and a large number of drones at various targets of the Israeli enemy.” Referring to all of Israel as “occupied territories.”

Houthis A Shiite political and military organization In Yemen, the country is locked in a civil war against a coalition supported by Saudi Arabia. They expressed their support for the Palestinians and organized protests in Yemen against the Israeli attack on Gaza.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Israeli army said in a statement that it used the Arrow air defense system for the first time to successfully intercept a surface-to-surface missile launched from the Red Sea region.

The use of the Arrow defense system, designed to intercept high-altitude missiles, suggests that the Houthis used a more advanced long-range missile in the attempted attack.

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Israeli aircraft also intercepted what the Israeli army described as “air threats” in the area. The Israeli army said that all threats outside Israeli territory were intercepted.

The attempts to launch strikes on Israel represent an escalation by the Iran-backed Houthis, with regional rivalries escalating despite the United States seeking to contain a potential war in the Middle East.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian He warned on Tuesday that “the expansion of conflicts in the region” was happening and that members of the resistance group “will not remain silent against full American support” for Israel and “will not wait for anyone’s advice.”

He said, according to a statement issued by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “We need to exploit the last political opportunities to stop the war, and if the situation gets out of control, no party will be safe from its consequences.”

The Houthi attacks on Tuesday follow another attempt that was thwarted two weeks ago. On October 19 a American warship Air forces near the coast of Yemen shot down four cruise missiles and 15 drones over a nine-hour period as they headed north along the Red Sea, according to a US official familiar with the situation. The official said their trajectory left no doubt that the missiles were headed toward Israel.

Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said the missiles were fired by Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen and were fired “likely toward targets in Israel.” US intercepts of Houthi launches are extremely rare.

Iran, despite decades of tough US sanctions, has continued to provide training and weapons to the Houthis in Yemen, the Syrian regime, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

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Hezbollah, another powerful Shiite militia, and Israel have been involved in daily skirmishes on the Israeli-Lebanese border since the war began. In October, the United States deployed two aircraft carrier strike groups to the eastern Mediterranean to deter Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah from opening new fronts against Israel.

Since the outbreak of the latest war in Gaza following the deadly rampage by Hamas on October 7, US bases in Iraq and Syria have also been subjected to sporadic attacks.

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