Sanaa, Yemen – In response to joint U.S.-British retaliatory airstrikes against Iran-backed Houthi rebels, the rebels have vowed to respond with punishment. The airstrikes come as the Israeli-Hamas conflict teeters on the edge of a broader regional conflict, escalating tensions in the area. The U.S. and British forces targeted 36 rebel sites in Yemen and 85 sites linked to Iran-backed militant groups in Syria and Iraq. These strikes were a response to months of attacks on U.S. bases, including a drone strike near the Syrian border that killed three Americans.
The Houthis, who have been targeting commercial ships in the Red Sea area, were the main targets of the joint U.S.-British operation. This is the third time that the two forces have targeted the Houthis, who claim that their attacks are in support of the Palestinians in war-battered Gaza. However, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stated that the airstrikes were intended to degrade Houthi capabilities used to continue their reckless and unlawful attacks.
The conflict has led to a significant death toll, with the Ministry of Health in Gaza announcing that more than 27,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed, with thousands more wounded or unaccounted for. Amid the ongoing violence, Iran has warned the U.S. against targeting two cargo ships suspected of serving as an operating base for Iranian commandos.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided a Hamas outpost in southern Gaza, uncovering training facilities used for the October 7 attack on Israeli border communities. In light of the escalating conflict and the proposed framework for a cease-fire, Hamas leaders are taking more time to study the proposal and review their demands for a sustainable resolution. However, Israel’s national security chief claims that the Biden administration is hindering Israel’s war effort, suggesting that a different U.S. leader would provide more support to crush Hamas.
In response to the U.S.-British airstrikes, Iran has condemned the military action, calling it a breach of Yemen’s territorial integrity and of international law. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani urged the global community to hold the nations involved accountable for their military adventurism. Overall, as tensions continue to rise, the situation in the region remains precarious.