Yesterday, the United States and Britain launched military attacks on sites operated by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen on Thursday, targeting its military infrastructure.
The US Air Force said in a statement that it had “executed deliberate strikes on over 60 targets at 16 Iranian-backed Houthi militant locations, including command and control nodes, munitions depots, launching systems, production facilities, and air defense radar systems”.
The return of RAF Typhoon aircraft at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus after striking military targets in Yemen, © AFP / British Ministry of Defence
US President Joe Biden said the joint strikes with the United Kingdom were meant to demonstrate that the US and its allies “will not tolerate” the Houthis’ attack on shipping in the Red Sea. The US raids, supported by Canada, Australia, Bahrain and the Netherlands, marked the first major US military response to Houthi attacks on shipping bound for Israel or owned by companies with any affiliations with Israel.
Several Democrat and Republican lawmakers have strongly criticised the move, accusing Biden of violating Article 1 of the US Constitution, because he sent airstrike without Congress approval.
The Houthis are an Iran-aligned group based in Yemen and have said their attacks are a response to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, and the international community’s failure to put an end to it.
The Houthis’ military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree, said in a recorded address that the strikes would “not go unanswered or unpunished.”
Hussein al-Ezzi, a Houthi official in their Foreign Ministry, that “America and Britain will undoubtedly have to prepare to pay a heavy price and bear all the dire consequences of this blatant aggression.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the joint US and UK bombing of multiple Houthi targets in Yemen, accusing Washington and London of seeking to turn the Red Sea into a “bloodbath.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday, that the overnight airstrikes conducted by the US and the UK against targets in Yemen were illegal,
“We condemn them,” Peskov said when asked about the action during a media briefing. “The [UN Security Council] resolution gives no right for strikes, and consequently they are illegitimate under international law.”
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described the Russian position. She said that a concern which Moscow has had, that US activities at the UN Security Council “were just a pretext for further escalation of the situation in the region,” have been confirmed by the attacks.
“A massive military escalation in the area of the Red Sea may nullify all positive trends which have emerged recently in the Yemen reconciliation process, and trigger destabilization of the entire Middle East,” she warned.
The Red Sea route is a crucial waterway, and attacks there have caused severe disruptions to global trade.
Last week two bombs exploded and killed at least 95 people at a commemoration for a prominent Iranian general Qassem Suleimani slain by the U.S. in a 2020 drone strike, Iranian officials said.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the attackers will face “a harsh response,” though he didn’t name any possible suspects. President Ebrahim Raisi said, “Undoubtedly, the perpetrators and leaders of this cowardly act will soon be identified and punished.”
No one immediately claimed responsibility for what appeared to be the deadliest militant attack to target Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Israel forces continues attack Hamas position in Gasa, with thousands of innocent victims left behind.
Meanwhile, the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague has begun hearing an application from South Africa accusing Israel of genocide against Palestinians.
Protest supporting Israel on front of International Court of Justice in Hague.
The submission calls on the court to order Israel to cease military operations in Gaza, according to British state broadcaster the BBC.
South Africa’s petition to the court described Israel’s actions in Gaza following the October 7 Hamas attack as “genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group.”