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Yemeni Houthis Reportedly Attack US Carrier Following US-UK Strikes in Hodeidah Province

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In response to reported deadly US and British attacks on the Hodeidah province, Yemen’s Houthi rebel group claims to have launched a missile attack on a United States aircraft carrier in the Red Sea. The group’s military spokesperson, Yahya Saree, announced the attack on the Eisenhower carrier, following the earlier claim that at least 16 people were killed in US and UK assaults on the Hodeidah province, marking the highest publicly acknowledged death toll from multiple rounds of strikes over the group’s assault on shipping.

The fallout from Thursday’s attacks was announced on Al Masirah television, a Houthi-controlled channel, which broadcast a video that appeared to depict wounded civilians being treated in Hodeidah, with at least 42 people reportedly injured.

Houthi official Mohammed al-Bukhaiti stated that the American-British aggression would not prevent the group from continuing its military operations in support of Palestine, warning that the rebels would “meet escalation with escalation.”

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) reported attacks against 13 Houthi targets had “successfully destroyed” eight uncrewed aerial vehicles, or drones, in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and over the Red Sea. The British Ministry of Defence also confirmed attacks on Hodeidah and further south in Ghulayfiqah, describing targets as “buildings identified as housing drone ground control facilities and providing storage for very long-range drones, as well as surface-to-air weapons.”

The Houthi movement, an Iran-aligned group that controls much of Yemen, has emerged as a strong supporter of Palestinians in Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza, launching repeated drone and missile attacks on ships in the Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandeb strait, and the Gulf of Aden since November, demanding that Israel end the war.

Iran condemned the US-UK strikes as “violations of Yemen’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, international laws, and human rights,” with Iranian state media reporting that “the aggressor US and British governments are responsible for the consequences of these crimes against the Yemeni people.”

According to the US Maritime Administration, the Houthis have launched more than 50 attacks on shipping in total, killing three sailors, seizing one vessel, and sinking another. This week, they attacked a ship carrying grain to Iran, forcing shipping firms to avoid the Red Sea route, which normally carries about 12 per cent of global trade, rerouting cargo to longer and more expensive journeys around Southern Africa.

Since January, the United States and the United Kingdom have launched retaliatory strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen, aiming to degrade their ability to attack the vital waterways. However, the attacks have done little to deter the Houthis, who claimed to have attacked a Greek-owned bulk carrier and several other vessels in response to Israeli strikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

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