The US and the United Kingdom launched airstrikes on several cities controlled by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. international

The war in the Middle East has certainly expanded. The United States and the United Kingdom launched attacks this Thursday on targets linked to the Houthi militia in Yemen, the first major retaliatory action since these Iranian-backed groups began harassing merchant ships in the Red Sea in October .

In a statement, President Joe Biden indicated that the strikes “come in direct response to unprecedented attacks by the Houthis against international merchant ships in the Red Sea, including the first-ever use of anti-ship ballistic missiles.” He added, “These attacks put U.S. military personnel, civilian sailors, and our allies at risk, endangering freedom of commerce and navigation.”

Ships from more than 50 countries have been hit in the 27 attacks so far by Yemeni rebel groups, according to the White House tenant. Employees from more than twenty countries “have been threatened or taken hostage in acts of piracy.” And more than two thousand ships have been forced to take other routes thousands of kilometers away to avoid passing through the Red Sea.

“These millimeter attacks represent a clear message that neither the United States nor our partners will tolerate attacks against our forces, nor will we allow hostile agents to deny freedom of navigation on one of the world’s most fundamental routes. Will allow it to be put in danger,” Biden stressed in a warning. This Thursday’s blow can be repeated: “If necessary I will not hesitate to order further measures for the safety of my people and the free flow of commerce.”

Missile attacks by Western forces have also hit targets in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, according to sources in that country. They have also attacked Hodeida, located on the Arab country’s west coast, and about a dozen other locations, some of which are around cities of cultural and historical importance such as the city of Taiz, located in the center of the country. US military commanders, speaking on condition of anonymity, indicated it was not meant to send a symbolic message, but a deterrent one.

A group of countries, led by the United States and which provide military protection to naval traffic in those waters, earlier last week warned the groups of serious retaliation if they continued the attacks, which have occurred in at least the past three months. Has reached two dozen incidents. , Almost immediately, militias resumed launching missiles and drones.

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The British-American strikes also come after the UN Security Council approved a resolution, 2722, on Wednesday, ordering the Houthis to immediately end their offensive in the Red Sea. These militias say they carry out the attacks to counter Israel’s offensive into Gaza and in retaliation for attacks by the radical Palestinian militia Hamas on their territory on October 7, which have killed at least 23,000 Palestinians. . In which at least 1,200 Israelis were killed.

This Tuesday, British and American ships intercepted one of the largest waves of missile and drone launches ever carried out by the Yemeni rebel group. For the Pentagon and the White House, which had assured that there would be no second chance after warnings at the beginning of the year, this was the last straw. United States President Joe Biden approved this operation on Thursday.

Drone attacks by the Houthi militia have in some cases forced shipping companies to seek alternative routes to the Red Sea, which represents 15% of global maritime traffic.

The strikes by British and American aircraft represent the entry into a new phase of the conflict in the Middle East and its expansion to other points outside Gaza. Precisely the objective that the United States has tried so hard to avoid over the past three months through intensive diplomacy and an increase in its military presence in the region. Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded his last visit to the region this Thursday, his fourth, in which he precisely tried to calm things down and prevent the crisis from escalating.

American and British military aircraft took off from bases in the region en route to Yemen to attack targets. The aircraft carrier Dwight Eisenhower, deployed in the area, also participated in the missile launch. An American submarine fired Tomahawk surface-to-surface missiles from the sea. The projectiles targeted drone and missile launch sites, as well as arsenals and radars in various parts of Yemen.

According to US military commanders, forces from Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands also plan to participate to provide intelligence and logistics support, among other capabilities.

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