Houthis Launch Attacks On Israeli City, British Cargo Ship, US Warship: Spokesman (Ld)


(MENAFN- IANS) Sanaa, Feb 23 (IANS) Yemen's Houthi group has said it had launched attacks on an Israeli city, a British cargo ship, and a US warship, in what it called a response to the "American-British aggression" against Yemen and its support of the Palestinians in Gaza.

The Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea on Thursday said in a statement broadcast by the group's al-Masirah TV that the first attack targeted the Israeli city of Eilat with ballistic missiles and drones, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Israeli army said it had intercepted a missile from the Red Sea heading for Eilat on Thursday morning, while Israeli media cited Israeli officials as saying the missile was "apparently" from the Houthis.

The second attack hit a British-owned cargo ship, MV Islander, in the Gulf of Aden with naval missiles, causing a fire on board, Sarea said. He said the third attack targeted a US Navy destroyer in the Red Sea with drones.

The US Central Command confirmed on social media platform X that it had shot down six Houthi drones in the Red Sea, which were likely targeting US and coalition warships and posing "immediate threats."

It also said the Houthis had fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles from southern Yemen into the Gulf of Aden, hitting the MV Islander and causing one minor injury and damage.

Houthi leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi vowed in a televised speech to launch more attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

"More attacks will come," he warned, describing the Houthi attacks as a show of support for Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza.

He claimed his group had launched "48 missile attacks" on cargo ships since mid-November last year in support of Hamas.

He also dismissed the impact of the US-led coalition airstrikes on his group's military capabilities, saying "the coalition strikes have no effect."

He also said his group had submarines and would use them in future attacks.

The Houthi group controls much of northern Yemen since it ousted the internationally recognized government in late 2014, sparking a civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the country to the brink of famine.

The group tightened its grip on the strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah following a UN-sponsored peace deal in 2018, which was backed by the US and UK but has failed to end the fighting.

The al-Masirah television reported that the coalition's warplanes had launched four airstrikes on Hodeidah on Thursday, hitting Houthi sites in the northwestern part of the city.

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