Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Declare Intent to Continue Attacks on Israel Amid Ongoing War
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have declared their intent to launch further attacks on Israel if the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza continues. The Houthi rebels assert that they have already executed attacks using drones and ballistic missiles in three separate operations.
A statement from the Houthi military, broadcast on their Al-Masirah TV, states, “The Yemeni Armed Forces… confirm they will continue to carry out qualitative strikes with missiles and drones until the Israeli aggression stops.”
In their latest operation, the Houthi rebels claimed to have “launched a large batch of ballistic missiles and a large number of armed aircraft” towards Israel. This marks the third such operation since the Gaza assault commenced on October 7, triggered by a major attack by Hamas militants – one of the deadliest in Israel’s history.
Israel’s military reported a “hostile aircraft intrusion” that activated warning sirens in Eilat, a Red Sea resort in Israel. Later, the military revealed that they had successfully intercepted a “surface-to-surface missile” fired toward Israeli territory using the ‘Arrow’ aerial defense system.
The Israeli military assured the public that all aerial threats were intercepted outside Israeli territory.
Abdelaziz bin Habtour, the Prime Minister of the Houthi government, emphasized that the Houthi rebels consider themselves part of the “axis of resistance” against Israel. This axis includes groups in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, all supported by Tehran. Bin Habtour pointed out the coordination among these groups, stating, “It is one axis, and there is coordination taking place, a joint operations room, and a joint command for all these operations. We cannot allow this arrogant Zionist enemy to kill our people.”
The Houthis have controlled the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, since 2014 and have a significant presence in the country. They have previously conducted attacks in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both of which engaged in military campaigns against the rebels.
The United States, while having tense relations with Iran, has welcomed a de facto truce in Yemen’s civil war since April 2022. The U.S. responded cautiously to the Houthi announcement. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller warned against anyone getting involved in the conflict, saying, “Anyone thinking about joining this conflict should not do it.”
.Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder confirmed that Israel successfully intercepted a medium-range missile launched by the Houthis. Ryder stressed the U.S.’s aim to prevent a broader regional conflict.
Israel had previously attributed a drone attack to the Houthis, stating that its aircraft intercepted “hostile targets” en route to southern Israel. Simultaneously, debris from the attack hit a building in the Egyptian resort of Taba, causing minor injuries to six people.
Since the commencement of the Gaza conflict on October 7, Israel’s military actions have resulted in the deaths of more than 8,500 people, including over 3,500 children, according to the health ministry in Gaza, which is governed by Hamas. This small, impoverished region houses 2.4 million people.
The international community is concerned about the potential for a wider regional conflict, particularly as Iran, which provides financial and military support to Hamas, has influence and proxy fighters in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. During the Gaza conflict, there have been numerous attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria, as well as frequent exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and the Israeli army across the Israel-Lebanon border.