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US official: ‘Houthis launch ballistic missile towards Israel’

February 24, 2024 at 10:18 am

Yemenis take part in a rally held to support the Palestinian people and against Israel over the sustained war in the Gaza Strip, on February 23, 2024, in Sana’a, Yemen. [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]

CNN quoted a US official confirming: “The Houthis in Yemen launched a ballistic missile towards Israel on Thursday morning, and the latter was able to intercept it. The Houthis also fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles on Thursday morning and hit a commercial ship in the Gulf of Aden.”

A UK-owned cargo ship flying the Palau flag suffered minor damage after two ballistic missiles were launched from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen and hit the ship.

The US official stated that there was at least one minor injury, and since then, the ship has continued its route to its destination.

On Thursday, Israeli media reported that sirens sounded in the city of Eilat following a missile threat believed to have originated in Yemen.

It reported that a surface-to-surface missile was fired towards Eilat but was successfully intercepted by the Arrow system.

The leader of the Ansar Allah (Houthis) group, Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, stressed the group will continue its operations against the interests of the Israeli occupation in the region, noting that the Houthi attacks caused: “The cessation of 40 per cent of the enemy’s maritime commercial traffic.”

Read: Houthi leader vows to escalate attacks against Israel, US, British ships

Al-Houthi conveyed in a video speech on Thursday: “The operations in the Red and Arabian Seas, the Bab Al-Mandab Strait and the Gulf of Aden are continuing, escalating, effective and significant,” stressing that all ships will cross safely as long as they are not heading to the ports of the Israeli occupation.

He added: “We challenge the Americans to prove that the targeted ships do not fall under the category we announced would be targeting and that they are not affiliated with the US, UK or Israel.”

Al-Houthi also noted that the US: “Failed in the face of our operations at sea, as it was not able to prevent them, nor was it able to deter or limit them. The enemy was unable to provide ships linked to the Israeli enemy with security and the opportunity to cross.”

He stressed that the Houthis’ maritime position: “Stopped 40 per cent of the enemy’s maritime commercial traffic and affected it by shrinking its economy and declining its exports.”

The leader also pointed out that the Yemeni group has introduced submarine weapons into its operations and has so far targeted 48 ships in the Red and Arabian Seas.

Al-Houthi continued his speech by confirming: “We will provide protection for any ships carrying aid to the people of Gaza, contrary to the claims of American propaganda.”

In “solidarity with Gaza”, which is facing a devastating Israeli genocidal war with US support, the Houthis targeted Israeli cargo ships or those linked to them in the Red Sea, using missiles and drones. They are determined to continue their operations until the end of the war on the Strip.

The US has launched many attacks against sites in Yemen. The first strike launched by Washington in cooperation with London was on 12 January with the aim of deterring the Yemeni group, which declared that US and British interests were its legitimate targets.

With the intervention of Washington and London and the tensions noticeably escalating in January, the Houthi group announced that it now considers all US and British ships military targets.