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Red Sea Crisis: Will have to pay heavy price: Houthis say retaliatory strikes launched on US, UK warships

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Iran-backed Houthi rebels have initiated retaliatory assaults on the warships of the United States and the UK (United Kingdom) in the Red Sea in response to the assault by Western partners, a senior member of the Houthi group, Abdul Salam Jahaf, said in a statement on Friday, according to CNN.

The Houthi deputy foreign minister, Hussein al-Ezzi, meanwhile, issued a dire warning, calling what he described a “blatant act of aggression” and threatening serious consequences for both the United States and Britain.

According to Hussein al-Ezzi, US and UK fighter planes and vessels launched a “massive aggressive assault” on Yemen, reported CNN.

“Our country was subjected to a massive aggressive attack by American and British ships, submarines, and warplanes, and America and Britain will undoubtedly have to prepare to pay a heavy price and bear all the dire consequences of this blatant aggression,” CNN quoted al-Ezzi as saying.

Earlier today, the US President Joe Biden said that the targeted strikes were a clear message that the escalation of attacks by the Houthi rebels against commercial vessels would not be tolerated.

“Today, at my direction, US military forces–together with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands–successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most vital waterways,” the US President said in a statement.In his statement, Biden said these strikes were in direct response to “Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea, including the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles for the first time in history.”He noted that these attacks have endangered US personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardised trade, and threatened freedom of navigation.

Moreover, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also confirmed that the Royal Air Force conducted targeted strikes against military facilities used by Houthi rebels in Yemen, calling it “limited, necessary and proportionate action in self-defence.”

Rishi Sunak said the UK will always stand up for “freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade.” He stated that the Houthis, despite the repeated warnings from the international community, continue to conduct attacks in the Red Sea, including against UK and US warships just this week.

Yemen’s Houthis have launched several drone and missile attacks at Israel, with most intercepted, since the war started. The Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, after thousands of Hamas terrorists crossed the border and killed scores of Israelis.

The Houthi rebels, who are an Iran-aligned group, started the strikes in retaliation for Israel’s Gaza conflict. The Houthis have said that they will not stop attacking until Israel ends the hostilities in Gaza.

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