Yemen’s Houthi forces launch missiles and drones towards Israel in response to Gaza war

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Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have publicly pledged to continue their attacks against Israel, aligning their actions with the current war on Hamas in Gaza. The rebels announced that they had already executed drone and ballistic missile attacks in three separate operations.

Recent Military Engagements and Responses

The Houthi military statement, broadcasted on Al-Masirah TV, detailed launching a significant number of ballistic missiles and armed aircraft towards Israel. This aggressive move marks the third operation since the onset of the Gaza assault that began on October 7. Israel’s military confirmed encountering a “hostile aircraft intrusion” near Eilat, its Red Sea resort. They reported intercepting a surface-to-surface missile aimed at Israeli territory using the ‘Arrow’ aerial defense system.

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Axis of Resistance and Regional Implications

Abdelaziz bin Habtour, Prime Minister of the Houthi government, stated the rebels’ role as part of the “axis of resistance” against Israel. This axis reportedly includes Tehran-backed groups across Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. The coordinated military actions indicate a united front comprising words and drones against Israel. The rebels have a significant hold in Yemen, controlling Sanaa since 2014 and conducting operations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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International Reactions and Consequences

The United States, amid strained relations with Iran and the recent ceasefire in Yemen’s civil war, has reacted cautiously to these developments. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller urged restraint, emphasizing the need to avoid a broader regional conflict. Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder confirmed Israel’s successful interception of a Houthi-fired medium-range missile. Concerns are growing over the potential for a wider regional conflict, especially considering Iran’s financial and military support to Hamas and its network of loyalists and proxy fighters in the region.

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Ongoing Conflict and Civilian Impact

Since the beginning of the Gaza conflict, triggered by a Hamas-led attack on October 7, there have been numerous attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria, daily fire exchanges across the Israel-Lebanon border, and a string of incidents in the Middle East. The toll of the ongoing conflict is mounting, with the health ministry in Gaza reporting significant civilian casualties, including children. The situation remains tense, with the potential for further escalation and regional involvement.

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