Middle east

Dozens killed and injured in largest US bombing on Houthi sites

US and British aircraft launch an attack on 13 targets in Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen.

Dozens of Yemenis were killed and injured in the largest US and British airstrikes against Houthi sites in months, in response to ongoing attacks on ships and tankers in the Red Sea.

The Houthi group announced on Friday the death of 16 civilians and the injury of 35 others in US and British airstrikes on the coastal province of Hodeidah in western Yemen, according to a brief statement from the Ministry of Health office of the Houthi government (not internationally recognized) in Hodeidah province. The statement said, “16 civilians were killed and 35 injured in the US and British airstrikes on Hodeidah province on Thursday night/Friday,” without providing further details. The Houthi-affiliated Al-Masirah TV channel also reported that the strikes targeted a radio building in the Al-Houk district of Hodeidah and the port of Salif.

The US and British armies said they carried out strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen on Thursday as part of efforts to deter the group from continuing to target navigation in the Red Sea. The Central Command said in a statement that US and British forces carried out strikes on 13 targets in Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen.

The British Ministry of Defense said the joint operation targeted three sites in the coastal city of Hodeidah on the Red Sea, which housed drones and surface-to-air weapons. In a statement, it said, “As always, the utmost caution was exercised in planning the strikes to minimize any risk to civilians or non-military infrastructure,” adding that conducting the strikes at night was meant to “further mitigate any such risks.”

Earlier on Thursday, the leader of the Houthi group, Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, said in a televised speech that his group had “targeted 10 ships linked to the Israeli, American, and British enemies this week, as well as ships belonging to companies (which he did not name) that violated the ban on entering the ports of occupied Palestine,” adding that “the total number of ships targeted since the beginning of support for Gaza last November has reached 129 ships.”

Since November, the Houthi rebels have launched dozens of missile and drone attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, which they consider linked to Israel or heading to its ports, saying this supports the Palestinians in Gaza amid the ongoing war since October 7.

Washington leads an international maritime coalition aimed at “protecting” maritime navigation in this strategic area through which 12% of global trade passes.

To deter them, US and British forces have been carrying out strikes on Houthi sites since January 12. The US military alone occasionally conducts strikes on missiles and drones it says are ready to be launched.

Since October 7, Israel has been waging a destructive war on Gaza despite the huge number of civilian casualties, and despite the International Criminal Court’s intention to issue international arrest warrants for its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for their responsibility in “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity.”

Israel also ignores a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire and orders from the International Court of Justice to take immediate measures to prevent “genocide” and improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and to stop military operations in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

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