The United States and Britain have started airstrikes in Yemen against the Houthi group fighters. This marks the first time such strikes have occurred since the Houthi fighters targeted weapons storage, air defence, and logistic facilities in the Red Sea late last year, protesting against Israel’s actions in Gaza. Shipping lines have suspended operations, choosing longer routes around Africa.
The US military reported the 27th Houthi attack on shipping since November 19, involving an anti-ship ballistic missile in the Gulf of Aden. President Joe Biden stated that these targeted strikes aim to prevent attacks on personnel and protect freedom of navigation.
The British Ministry of Defense indicated that early signs suggest a blow to the Houthi’s ability to threaten merchant shipping. Houthi officials, however, referred to the strikes as “American-Zionist-British aggression,” confirming raids in several Yemeni cities.
The ongoing strikes reflect the widening impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict in the Middle East. US officials noted that the strikes are not just symbolic, targeting over a dozen locations to weaken the Houthi’s military capabilities.
Anti-war activists protested in Times Square and outside the White House against the US and British strikes. Protesters called for non-interference in the Middle East, Yemen, and Gaza. Anti-war activists express concern about the potential escalation of conflicts.