Houthis: More than 400 US, UK airstrikes in Yemen since January

Houthis: More than 400 US, UK airstrikes in Yemen since January
Houthi spokesperson Dhaifallah al-Shami has spoken out against the continued air attacks on Yemen by the US and the UK following ongoing regional tensions.
3 min read
15 February, 2024
Yemen's Houthi government minister of information, Dhaifallah al-Shami, addresses a press conference in the Yemeni capital Sanaa [Getty]

Yemen's Houthi group said on Wednesday that the US and UK have targeted Yemen with 403 airstrikes since January. 

In an official statement via the Saba news agency linked to the group, the Houthi spokesperson Dhaifallah Al-Shami reported the attacks by US and UK forces as strikes continued on other areas in Yemen, with an intensification of strikes in the western province of Hodeidah.

"The total number of American and British airstrikes, both aerial and reconnaissance, and from warships since the beginning of the aggression on Yemen amounted to 403 airstrikes," Al-Shami said. 

“Among them are 203 aerial strikes, including 86 strikes during the past week." 

The Houthi spokesperson also claimed that the two Western nations were "using intimidation tactics against national forces to bend Yemen from its firm and clear stance on the Palestinian issue". 

He added: “Yemen's stance with Palestine has not been limited to condemnation, but it has led the Arab and international scene through practical positions.” 

Al-Shami emphasised the group’s stance on hostilities, including "participation in million-man marches in Sanaa and other provinces".

This also involved "open military battles, targeting Zionist sites in occupied territories, and blocking Israeli and allied ships from crossing the Arabian and Red Seas", he added. 

The US and the UK have yet to comment on Al-Shami's statements.  

Earlier this year, the US launched a maritime force for the Red Sea in retaliation to Houthi-led attacks on commercial shipping. 

This then led to US and UK military intervention last month on Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, which prompted the Iran-linked group to expand its blockade and announce that they now consider all American and British owned ships as legitimate military targets. 

According to the EU's Josep Borrell, the bloc plans to launch a naval mission in the Red Sea to protect cargo ships from Houthi attacks in Yemen. There are fears this could provoke Houthis to target more vessels

However, Borrell reaffirmed that the EU will not be participating in military action against the Yemeni group. 

Yemen's Houthis took over the capital Sanaa in 2014, with a Saudi-led coalition engaging in air strikes against the group from 2015 onwards, killing thousands of civilians and leading to one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.

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Aid groups working in Yemen have warned that rising shipping costs and delivery delays as a result of the Houthis’ Red Sea attacks threaten could worsen this situation. 

The Houthis have been criticised by human rights groups for allegedly stealing and hoarding aid. 

The group justified their attempted blockade of Israeli or Israeli-aligned vessels as a response to Israel's war and total siege on Palestinians in Gaza.