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Yemen's Houthi rebels vow more attacks on Israel — statement

By AFP - Nov 01,2023 - Last updated at Nov 01,2023

Houthi fighters gather during a military maneuver near Sanaa, Yemen, on Monday (AFP photo)

SANAA/DOHA — Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels on Tuesday pledged more attacks against Israel if its war on Hamas in Gaza continues, saying it had already fired drones and ballistic missiles in three separate operations.

"The Yemeni Armed Forces... confirm they will continue to carry out qualitative strikes with missiles and drones until the Israeli aggression stops," said a Houthi military statement aired on the rebels' Al Masirah TV.

It said Houthi rebels "launched a large batch of ballistic missiles... and a large number of armed aircraft" towards Israel on Tuesday, in the third such operation since the Gaza assault began on October 7 after Hamas fighters staged the worst attack in Israel's history.

Earlier, Israel's military said a "hostile aircraft intrusion" had set off warning sirens in Eilat, its Red Sea resort, later saying it had intercepted a "surface-to-surface missile" fired towards Israeli territory, that was "successfully intercepted by the 'Arrow' aerial defence system".

"All aerial threats were intercepted outside of Israeli territory," it said.

Abdelaziz bin Habtour, prime minister of the Houthi government, on Tuesday said the rebels were "part of the axis of resistance" against Israel, which includes Tehran-backed groups in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and were fighting with both "words and drones".

"It is one axis and there is coordination taking place, a joint operations room, and a joint command for all these operations," he said.

"We cannot allow this arrogant Zionist enemy to kill our people"

The Houthis seized Yemen's capital Sanaa in 2014 and control large swathes of the country

Israel had blamed the Houthis for a drone attack on Friday, saying its aircraft had intercepted "hostile targets" headed for southern Israel.

At the same time, six people were lightly injured when debris hit a building across the border from Eilat in the neighbouring Egyptian resort of Taba, the Egyptian army said at the time.

On October 19, the US Navy said it shot down three land-attack cruise missiles and “several” drones fired by the Houthis, possibly at Israel.

Meanwhile, Iran said on Tuesday it was “natural” for Tehran-backed groups to attack Israel in light of its war on Hamas, warning of a wider spillover if no ceasefire is reached.

The remarks were made by Iran’s top diplomat Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Qatar’s capital Doha where he met with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and his Qatari counterpart to discuss a push for a diplomatic breakthrough.

“It is natural that the resistance groups and movements do not remain silent against all these crimes” committed by Israel, Amir-Abdollahian said in remarks relayed by Iran’s foreign ministry.

“They will not wait for anyone’s advice, therefore we need to use the last political opportunities to stop the war,” he said after talks with Sheikh Tamim, warning the situation could “get out of control”.

Concerns are high over a regional conflagration, especially as Iran, which financially and militarily backs Hamas but insists it had no involvement in the October 7 attack — has loyalists and proxy fighters in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Since the Gaza conflict began, there have been a string of attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria as well as almost daily exchanges of fire across the Israel-Lebanon border between Hizbollah and the Israeli army.

On Sunday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned on X, formerly Twitter, that Israel had “crossed the red lines, and this may force everyone to take action”, without elaborating.


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