Saturday, April 20, 2024

11 killed in US-UK strikes on Yemen

Air raids carried out by the US and UK have hit port cities and small towns in western Yemen, killing at least 11 people and injuring 14, a spokesperson for Yemen’s internationally recognised government has told the Reuters news agency.

US Central Command (Centcom) announced it carried out six strikes on Monday, claiming it destroyed an unmanned underwater vessel and 18 anti-ship missiles in Houthi controlled areas.

“These weapons presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and US Navy ships in the region,” Centcom said in its statement, adding that the strikes were carried out to “protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer”.

Houthi fighters in Yemen have repeatedly launched drones and missiles against international commercial shipping since mid-November, saying they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians and in opposition to Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip.

The Houthi attacks have disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to reroute to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa.

Despite reprisals from the US, UK and other coalition partners, the Houthis have escalated their campaign of attacks on Israeli-linked vessels in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said on Tuesday that the group would escalate their military operations during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

Sarea also added that the “US ship Pinocchio” was targeted in the Red Sea with missiles.

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