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31 Oct, 2023 20:48

Yemen confirms joining Israel-Gaza conflict

The Houthis said they intend to support the Palestinians with missile and drone strikes
Yemen confirms joining Israel-Gaza conflict

The Houthi government in Sanaa said on Tuesday that it has launched drones and missiles against Israel in support of the Palestinian cause and will continue doing so. At least one missile flew over Saudi Arabia, putting the kingdom’s air defenses on alert.

“Our Armed Forces launched a large batch of ballistic and cruise missiles and a large number of drones at various targets of the Israeli enemy in the occupied territories,” said Brigadier General Yahya Saree, the spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces.

Tuesday’s launch was “the third operation in support of our oppressed brethren in Palestine,” Saree said, adding that the Houthi military “will continue to carry out more qualitative strikes with missiles and drones until the Israeli aggression stops.”

Yemen undertook the campaign “out of a sense of religious, moral, humanitarian and national responsibility, and in response to the demands of our Yemeni people and the demands of free peoples, and to provide relief to our oppressed people in Gaza,” according to the spokesman.

“The position of our Yemeni people towards the Palestinian issue is firm and principled, and that the Palestinian people have the full right to self-defense in pursuit of their full legitimate rights,” Saree added.

The Israeli military has recently deployed ground troops into Gaza, following weeks of artillery and air strikes, in pursuit of its war on Hamas – a Palestinian militant group responsible for the October 7 incursion into nearby Israeli settlements.

The effect of Tuesday’s missile and drone strike was unknown. At least one missile crashed in the deserts of Jordan, causing no damage or casualties.

For the first time, however, the missiles flew over Saudi Arabia, which caused the kingdom to activate its air defenses. The kingdom had been fighting the Houthis since 2015, accusing the Shia community of being Iranian proxies. The two sides seemed ready to make peace this spring, after a Chinese-mediated deal between Riyadh and Tehran.

Earlier this month, the US Navy claimed its ships had shot down several missiles or drones fired towards Israel over the Red Sea. The Pentagon did not directly attribute these to Yemen, however.