Houthis promise “strong and effective response” to US strikes

A spokesperson for the Houthi group has stated the Yemeni fighters will offer a robust reply to a second, albeit much smaller, series of US air raids in the war-torn country.

Spokesperson Nasruldeen Amer told Al Jazeera Arabic there were no injuries or “material damages” caused by the latest US action, but that there would be a “firm, strong and effective response”.

The US targeted a radar facility used by the Houthis in the early hours of Saturday local time, according to a US official.

A joint US-UK operation 24 hours earlier struck almost 30 separate locations, in an effort to disrupt the Houthis’ ability to fire on international shipping lanes in the Red Sea.

Five Houthi fighters were killed in the first wave of strikes and six more were wounded, a statement from the group confirmed Friday.

The attacks, which the Houthis described as a “brutal aggression”, would not dissuade Yemen from its stance of solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza, the Houthi armed forces announced in a statement carried by Houthi-run TV channel Al-Masirah.

Following the strikes, the Houthis announced that United States and United Kingdom interests are “legitimate targets” for the Yemeni fighters.

The Houthis have pledged solidarity with the Palestinians and vowed not to stop attacking merchant vessels until Israel ends its ongoing war with Hamas, which erupted on October 7.

Hans Grundberg, the United Nations special envoy for Yemen, called for all parties in Yemen to exercise restraint and de-escalation amid an “increasingly precarious regional context”.

Grundberg reiterated UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ call for all parties to “avoid actions that would worsen the situation in Yemen, escalate the threat to maritime trade routes, or further fuel regional tensions at this critical time”.

The diplomat in a statement Saturday also highlighted the “need to protect Yemeni civilians, and to safeguard the progress of peace efforts since the truce of April 2022″.

“The Special Envoy urges all involved to exercise maximum restraint and to prioritize diplomatic channels over military options and calls for de-escalation,” according to the statement.

The Houthi group announced Saturday it will continue military actions against Israel and prevent its vessels from passing through the Red Sea, according to the Saba news agency.

“The American and British aggression will not go unpunished,” it said in a statement.

It noted that “the overt American and British aggression, which comes to support the Zionist entity, will not deter Yemen from continuing its military operations against the Israeli enemy and preventing its vessels and other ships heading to the occupied Palestinian ports.”

It added that “this aggression, which will certainly not pass without punishment from our armed forces, highlights the significant impact of Yemen’s military operations against the Israeli enemy and preventing the passage of its vessels and other ships of other nationalities carrying goods to it”.

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