US and UK Launch Military Strikes in Yemen Conflict Escalation

Strikes target Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Red Sea shipping conflict.

Hyderabad: The United States and Britain conducted military strikes in Yemen against Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in response to the group's attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, escalating tensions in the region. US President Joe Biden emphasized that the strikes aimed to deter Houthi attacks on commercial ships, describing them as "unprecedented." The Houthis, labeling the strikes as "barbaric," pledged to continue targeting ships heading towards Israel.

At least five sites, including airfields and airports, were reportedly targeted in the strikes, impacting locations like the al-Dailami air base, the airport in Hodeidah, a camp east of Saada, the airport in Taiz, and an airport near Hajjah. The extent of damage and casualties remains unclear. This marks the first military intervention by the US in Yemen since 2016 and the first response to drone and missile attacks on ships since Israel's war on Gaza in October.

The Houthi movement, controlling much of Yemen, strongly supports Hamas in its conflict with Israel. The Palestinian group holds the US and the UK responsible for the regional security impact of the strikes. The UK justified the strikes as "necessary and proportionate," with early indications suggesting a blow to the Houthis' ability to threaten merchant shipping.

The US, UK, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands presented the operation as an international effort to restore free trade flow in a vital route between Europe and Asia. Iran condemned the attacks, and Russia requested a UN Security Council meeting.

Saudi Arabia called for restraint, and a joint statement from several countries aimed to de-escalate tensions in the Red Sea while emphasizing a commitment to defending lives and ensuring commerce's free flow.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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