Yemen's Houthis fire ballistic missiles at Israel amid growing threat of regional war

Yemen's Houthis fire ballistic missiles at Israel amid growing threat of regional war
The Houthis have once again targeted Israel with ballistic missiles, as Tel Aviv's war on Gaza continues to cause major spillover in the region.
2 min read
03 February, 2024
The Houthis have used missiles and drones to fire on Israel and Israel-aligned ships in solidarity with Palestinians [Getty]

Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed on Friday that they fired ballistic missiles at targets in the Israeli city of Eilat and threatened to keep up military operations until Israel ends its war on Gaza.

"The Yemeni armed forces will not hesitate to carry out further military operations against the Zionist enemy on land and at sea until the cessation of aggression and lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip," the Houthi military spokesperson warned.

The Israeli military announced earlier on the same day that the Arrow missile defence system successfully intercepted a surface-to-surface missile fired at Israeli territory in the area of the Red Sea.

The Houthis have launched a series of attacks on Israel-aligned shipping and other targets in the Red Sea area.

The group has said that the attacks are acts of solidarity with Palestinians, particularly those in Gaza, where more than 27,000 people have been killed since Israel launched its war on 7 October.

The attacks have already had a major impact on global trade, with the Houthi blockade forcing shipping companies to drastically reroute their vessels.

The rebel group seem undaunted by repeated US-led airstrikes on their missile bases and they have vowed to retaliate against US and UK assets.

The US on Thursday announced it had struck 10 Houthi drones and a ground control centre within Yemen

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This has stoked fears that Israel’s war Gaza could lead to an escalation of wider regional tensions and lead to even more destabilisation that will have global ramifications.

Late on Friday, the US military launched extensive retaliatory airstrikes against Iranian forces and Tehran-backed militia groups in both Iraq and Syria, following a recent drone attack that killed three American soldiers at Tower 22, a remote American military base in Jordan.

However, the US was keen to emphasise that it did not seek all-out war with Iran, and it appears that Tehran is similarly wary of an escalation that could lead to large-scale conflict.

"Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing," US President Joe Biden said in a statement.

"The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. But let all those who might seek to do us harm know this: If you harm an American, we will respond."