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11 Jan, 2024 22:43

US-UK strikes on Yemen ‘imminent’ – media

London and Washington may launch missiles against the Houthis as early as Thursday evening, multiple outlets say
US-UK strikes on Yemen ‘imminent’ – media

The British and American governments have decided to launch air and missile strikes against the Houthis of Yemen in order to unblock the Red Sea, multiple outlets have reported on Thursday evening, citing anonymous sources.

British PM Rishi Sunak has “authorized joint military strikes with the US” and got approval from his cabinet, according to Bloomberg. Earlier in the day, The Times reported that strikes could be “imminent” as early as Thursday evening.

The UK currently has two ships in the area, the destroyer HMS Diamond and the frigate HMS Lancaster, with the frigate HMS Richmond en route, according to the BBC.

The Times said the US-led coalition would target Houthi “bases and boats” with ships and fighter jets. 

Neither 10 Downing Street nor the White House have made any official announcements yet.

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf has voiced concerns about the move, however, warning that the UK “does not have a good record of military intervention in the Middle East.” He called for Sunak to call back the Parliament and allow the MPs to “debate and scrutinize any decision to pursue military action” that the government has proposed.

On Tuesday, the Houthis launched over 20 missiles and drones into the Red Sea, which the US-led naval force claimed to have shot down. 

“We cannot have a situation where a major sea route, a major ability to move goods around the world is being cut off by terrorists and thugs and we therefore must act,” British Defense Secretary Grant Schapps said after Tuesday’s incident.

The Shia group that controls Yemen’s capital announced on Thursday that it was not afraid of the West.

“We will respond to any American aggression,” Houthi spokesman Abdulsalam Jahaf posted on X (formerly Twitter). “We will confront America, [make it] kneel, and burn its battleships and all its bases and everyone who co-operates with it, no matter what the cost.”

“We swear, if we turn into atoms scattered in the air, we will not abandon Gaza, and we will continue to target Zionist ships,” Jahaf added. “The world must prepare to hear America's defeat, and I say it with all pride: We will tread on America with our feet, and whoever does not know us, the battlefields will know about our strength and strength.”

Officially known as Ansar Allah (‘Supporters of God’), the Houthis declared solidarity with Gaza in late October, reacting to Israel’s offensive against the Palestinian enclave. West Jerusalem had vowed to “eradicate” Hamas after the Palestinian militants raided nearby Israeli towns on October 7, resulting in the deaths of some 1,200 Israelis. More than 23,000 Palestinians have been killed since, according to local pro-Hamas authorities.

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