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U.S. and U.K. Launch Massive Airstrikes in Yemen; Houthis Respond with Warnings

Yemen’s Iran-aligned rebel group, Ansar Allah, which has been launching attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea in response to Israel’s conflict in Gaza, issued a stark warning regarding any potential U.S. bombing of Yemen. This warning comes as reports surface of extensive strikes carried out by the United States and the United Kingdom in Yemen.

Ansar Allah’s Response

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Ansar Allah Deputy Information Secretary Nasreddin Amer asserted that any strike against them would be met with resolute force, potentially leading to regional escalation. Amer emphasized that such actions would only serve to support Israel’s actions against the Palestinian people, which they view as oppression.

U.S. Confirmation and Rationale

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U.S. President Joe Biden confirmed the operation and disclosed that it was conducted jointly with the United Kingdom, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands. The strikes aimed at targets in Yemen associated with the Houthi rebels were in response to their attacks on international maritime vessels in the Red Sea, including the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles.

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U.S. Stance and Consequences

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President Biden described these strikes as a message that the U.S. and its partners would not tolerate attacks on their personnel or threats to freedom of navigation in vital waterways. He warned of further measures to safeguard people and international commerce if necessary.

Counterattack on U.S. Military Targets

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Following reports of suspected airstrikes in Yemen, Ansar Allah reportedly launched ballistic missiles at U.S. military targets in the Red Sea.

Antony Blinken’s Warning

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had previously issued a warning, emphasizing that there would be consequences in response to the largest missile and drone attack conducted by Ansar Allah against merchant vessels in the Red Sea.

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International Coalition Response

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In response to the Houthi attack, U.S. and U.K. warships, along with 10 other coalition partners, reacted by intercepting and neutralizing several projectiles, as part of a mission established last month.

Intensified Airstrikes in Yemen

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Reports emerged of airstrikes carried out by the U.S. and U.K. in Yemen, although Newsweek could not independently verify the footage. Reports indicated fires at Al-Dilaimi airbase in Sanaa, corresponding with the reports of airstrikes.

Ongoing Conflict in Yemen

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Ansar Allah has been contending with enemy aerial actions, primarily from a Saudi-led coalition, since 2015. Despite a ceasefire brokered by the United Nations in April 2022, Yemen remains divided, and a lasting peace plan has not been achieved.

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Iran’s Denial and Arms Accumulation

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Iran has consistently denied allegations of directly providing military aid to Ansar Allah. Nevertheless, the rebel group has amassed a substantial arsenal of missiles and drones. These assets have been deployed against commercial vessels and southern Israel since the Gaza conflict began in October 2022 with an unexpected attack by the Palestinian Hamas movement.

U.S. Troops Under Attack

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Additionally, U.S. troops have faced near-daily attacks in Iraq and Syria from militias aligned with the broader pro-Iran “Axis of Resistance,” showing solidarity with Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza.

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