Middle East crisis live updates: Houthis say US, UK will pay ‘high price’ after Yemen strikes

US President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event on January 5, 2024.

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A Houthi official vowed retaliation after the US and UK launched strikes against the group’s targets in Yemen in response to a wave of naval attacks that destabilized traffic on key Red Sea trade routes.

“America and Britain will undoubtedly have to prepare to pay a high price and bear all the terrible consequences of this blatant aggression,” said senior Houthi official Hussein al-Ezzi. he said in an update translated by Google on social media platform X.

Other Houthi officials called the attack unjustified and “barbaric” and threatened more targeting of Israeli ships or vessels heading for the occupied Palestinian territories.

US President Joe Biden announced the strikes late Thursday, in an escalation of tensions that have been rising in the Middle East since the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces’ subsequent campaign in the Gaza Strip.

The Houthis, who share Iranian support with Hamas, have declared solidarity with the Palestinian people, carried out several strikes against ships they believe are linked to Israel and forced several shipping companies to reconsider routes through the Red Sea. The offensive culminated in the largest Houthi drone fire. and missile fire against shipping earlier this week — and in a US-UK-led response overnight.

“Today, at my direction, US military forces – together with the United Kingdom and with the support of Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands – successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by the Houthi rebels to threaten freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most important waterways,” Biden said.

The U.S. Central Command said the U.S. air force hit more than 60 targets in 16 Houthi militant locations as part of the strike.

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