December 11, 2023

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Yemen’s Houthis ‘declare war’ on Israel and vow to ramp up attacks as conflict spirals

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have effectively declared war on Israel after launching missiles and drones at the south of the country earlier today.

The Houthis are part of Iran’s “Axis of Resistance” and have rallied behind Hamas since the October 7 attacks.

Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said the group launched a “large number” of missiles and drones toward Israel and that it would continue to attack “to help the Palestinians to victory”.

The televised statement confirmed fears that the conflict could spread regionally with various Iranian-backed regional actors joining the fray as Israel attempts to destroy Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking of an attack launched earlier today, Saree said: “The Yemeni Armed Forces confirm that this operation is the third operation in support of our oppressed brothers in Palestine and confirm that we will continue to carry out more qualitative strikes with missiles and drones until the Israeli aggression stops.”

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Tuesday’s attack saw the Arrow missile defence system used for the first time in the conflict. The system is intended to take out long-range ballistic missiles as opposed to smaller ballistic rockets often launched by Hamas from Gaza.

The IDF said of the attack: “All aerial threats were intercepted outside of Israeli territory. No infiltrations were identified into Israeli territory.”

It’s unclear how Israel will respond to the announcement of continuing Houthi attacks. Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi called the attempted strikes “intolerable” without elaborating.

The Houthis’ slogan is: “Death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews and victory to Islam.”

The news comes amid fears of a spiraling regional conflict as Iranian-backed proxies attack Israel as well as US bases in Iraq and Syria. 

The Hezbollah terror group – armed and funded by Iran – has regularly exchanged blows with Israel across the northern border with Lebanon. Both sides have suffered casualties in those exchanges.

Over the weekend, actors in Syria launched rockets at Israel while Tel Aviv responded with artillery in the direction of the attack. It has carried out strikes at Syrian airports since the war began.

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