Monday, February 26, 2024

AUTHOR NAME

AP

2 POSTS
0 COMMENTS

U.S. And British Strikes In Yemen Answer Houthis Surge In Red Sea Attacks

LOADINGERROR LOADINGWASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and Britain struck 18 Houthi targets in Yemen on Saturday, answering a recent surge in attacks by the Iran-backed militia group on ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, including a missile strike this past week that set fire to a cargo vessel.According to U.S. officials, American and British fighter jets hit sites in eight locations, targeting missiles, launchers, rockets, drones and air defense systems. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to provide early details of an ongoing military operation.Advertisement This is the fourth time that the U.S. and British militaries have conducted a combined operation against the Houthis since Jan. 12. But the U.S. has also been carrying out almost daily strikes to take out Houthi targets, including incoming missiles and drones aimed at ships, as well as weapons that were prepared to launch.The U.S. F/A-18 fighter jets launched from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier, which is currently in the Red Sea, officials said.“The United States will not hesitate to take action, as needed, to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. “We will continue to make clear to the Houthis that they will bear the consequences if they do not stop their illegal attacks.”The Houthis denounced the “US-British aggression” and vowed to keep up its military operation in response. “The Yemeni Armed Forces affirm that they will confront the US-British escalation with more qualitative military operations against all hostile targets in the Red and Arabian Seas in defense of our country, our people and our nation,” it said in a statement.Advertisement The U.S., U.K., and other allies said in a statement the “necessary and proportionate strikes specifically targeted 18 Houthi targets across 8 locations in Yemen” that also included underground storage facilities, radar and a helicopter.U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said RAF Typhoon jets engaged in “precision strikes” aimed at degrading Houthi drones and launchers. Shapps said it came after “severe Houthi attacks against commercial ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, including against the British-owned MV Islander and the MV Rubymar, which forced the crew to abandon ship.” It’s the fourth time Britain has joined in the U.S.-led strikes.The strikes have support from the wider coalition, which includes Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and New Zealand.A handout picture released by the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) shows RAF Typhoon FGR4 and RAF Voyager taking off from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, to strike military targets in Yemen on February 24, 2024. U.S. and British forces carried out a fresh wave of strikes Saturday against 18 Houthi targets in Yemen, following weeks of attacks on Red Sea shipping by the Iran-backed rebels.Tim Laurence/MOD/AFP/Crown Copyright 2024 via Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden and other senior leaders have repeatedly warned that the U.S. won’t tolerate the Houthi attacks against commercial shipping. But the counterattacks haven’t appeared to diminish the Houthis’ campaign against shipping in the region, which the militants say is over Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.Advertisement “Our aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea, but we will once again reiterate our warning to Houthi leadership: we will not hesitate to continue to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in the face of continued threats,” said the Saturday statement.The Houthis have launched at least 57 attacks on commercial and military ships in the the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since Nov. 19, and the pace has picked up in recent days.“We’ve certainly seen in the past 48, 72 hours an increase in attacks from the Houthis,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said in a briefing Thursday. And she acknowledged that the Houthis have not been deterred.“We never said we’ve wiped off the map all of their capabilities,” she told reporters. “We know that the Houthis maintain a large arsenal. They are very capable. They have sophisticated weapons, and that’s because they continue to get them from Iran.”There have been at least 32 U.S. strikes in Yemen over the past month and a half; a few were conducted with allied involvement. In addition, U.S. warships have taken out dozens of incoming missiles, rockets and drones targeting commercial and other Navy vessels.Advertisement Earlier Saturday, the destroyer USS Mason downed an anti-ship ballistic missile launched from Houthi-held areas in Yemen toward the Gulf of Aden, U.S. Central Command said, adding that the missile was likely targeting MV Torm Thor, a U.S.-Flagged, owned, and operated chemical and oil tanker.The U.S. attacks on the Houthis have targeted more than 120 launchers, more than 10 surface-to-air-missiles, 40 storage and support building, 15 drone storage building, more than 20 unmanned air, surface and underwater vehicles, several underground storage areas and a few other facilities.The rebels’ supreme leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, announced this past week an “escalation in sea operations” conducted by his forces as part of what they describe as a pressure campaign to end Israel’s war on Hamas.But while the group says the attacks are aimed at stopping that war, the Houthis’ targets have grown more random, endangering a vital waterway for cargo and energy shipments traveling from Asia and the Middle East onward to Europe.A man walks next to artwork in Sana'a, Yemen, depicting a Yemeni checkpoint stopping an Israeli vessel in the Red Sea, in solidarity with Palestinians and against the U.S.-led aerial attacks, on February 25, 2024. The U.S. and U.K. launched fresh aerial attacks jets targeting 18 sites run by Houthi rebels in the capital and other various provinces.Mohammed Hamoud via Getty ImagesAdvertisement During normal operations, about 400 commercial vessels transit the southern Red Sea at any given time. While the Houthi attacks have only actually struck a small number of vessels, the persistent targeting and near misses that have been shot down by the U.S. and allies have prompted shipping companies to reroute their vessels from the Red Sea.Instead, they have sent them around Africa through the Cape of Good Hope — a much longer, costlier and less efficient passage. The threats also have led the U.S. and its allies to set up a joint mission where warships from participating nations provide a protective umbrella of air defense for ships as they travel between the Suez Canal and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.In Thursday’s attack in the Gulf of Aden, the Houthis fired two missiles at a Palau-flagged cargo ship named Islander, according to Central Command said. A European naval force in the region said the attack sparked a fire and wounded a sailor on board the vessel, though the ship continued on its way.Central Command launched attacks on Houthi-held areas in Yemen on Friday, destroying seven mobile anti-ship cruise missiles that the military said were prepared to launch toward the Red Sea.Central Command also said Saturday that a Houthi attack on a Belize-flagged ship on Feb. 18 caused an 18-mile (29-kilometer) oil slick and the. military warned of the danger of a spill from the vessel’s cargo of fertilizer. The Rubymar, a British-registered, Lebanese-operated cargo vessel, was attacked while sailing through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.Advertisement The missile attack forced the crew to abandon the vessel, which had been on its way to Bulgaria after leaving Khorfakkan in the United Arab Emirates. It was transporting more than 41,000 tons of fertilizer, according to a Central Command statement.The Associated Press, relying on satellite images from Planet Labs PBC of the stricken vessel, reported Tuesday that the vessel was leaking oil in the Red Sea.Yemen’s internationally recognized government on Saturday called for other countries and maritime-protection organizations to quickly address the oil slick and avert “a significant environmental disaster.___Associated Press writer Samy Magdy in Cairo contributed to this report.Support HuffPostOur 2024 Coverage Needs YouAt HuffPost, we believe that everyone needs high-quality journalism, but we understand that not everyone can afford to pay for expensive news subscriptions. That is why we are committed to providing deeply reported, carefully fact-checked news that is freely accessible to everyone.Whether you come to HuffPost for updates on the 2024 presidential race, hard-hitting investigations into critical issues facing our country today, or trending stories that make you laugh, we appreciate you. The truth is, news costs money to produce, and we are proud that we have never put our stories behind an expensive paywall.Would you join us to help keep our stories free for all? Your contribution of as little as $2 will go a long way.As Americans head to the polls in 2024, the very future of our country is at stake. At HuffPost, we believe that a free press is critical to having well-informed voters. That's why our journalism is free for everyone, even though other newsrooms retreat behind expensive paywalls.We cannot do this without your help. Support our newsroom by contributing as little as $2 to keep our news free for all.As Americans head to the polls in 2024, the very future of our country is at stake. At HuffPost, we believe that a free press is critical to creating well-informed voters. That's why our journalism is free for everyone, even though other newsrooms retreat behind expensive paywalls.Our journalists will continue to cover the twists and turns during this historic presidential election. With your help, we'll bring you hard-hitting investigations, well-researched analysis and timely takes you can't find elsewhere. Reporting in this current political climate is a responsibility we do not take lightly, and we thank you for your support.Contribute as little as $2 to keep our news free for all.Support HuffPostRelatedIsrael houthisRed Sea

U.K. Conservatives Suspend Lawmaker Who Accused London Mayor Of Islamist Affiliation

LOADINGERROR LOADINGLONDON (AP) — The U.K.’s governing Conservative Party has suspended ties with one if its lawmakers after he accused London Mayor Sadiq Khan of being controlled by Islamists, as tensions over the Israel-Hamas war roil British politics.The party said on Saturday that Lee Anderson was suspended after he refused to apologize for remarks made about Khan in a television interview on Friday. The action means that Anderson, a deputy chairman of the Conservatives until last month, will sit in Parliament as an independent.Advertisement Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and other senior Conservative leaders had come under increasing pressure to reject the comments, which the chairwoman of the opposition Labour Party called “unambiguously racist and Islamophobic.”The controversy comes as the Israel-Hamas war fuels tensions in British society. Pro-Palestinian marches in London have regularly drawn hundreds of thousands of demonstrators calling for an immediate cease-fire, even as critics describe the events as “antisemitic hate marches.” Figures released over the last week show that both anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim incidents have risen sharply since Hamas’ attack on Israel on Oct. 7.That anger has spilled over into Parliament, where some lawmakers say they fear for their safety after receiving threats over their positions on the conflict in Gaza.In his interview with GB News, Anderson criticized the police response to pro-Palestinian demonstrations in London, leveling the blame on Khan.Advertisement Anderson said he didn’t “actually believe that the Islamists have got control of our country, but what I do believe is they’ve got control of Khan and they’ve got control of London.’’Khan flatly rejected the allegations, telling the BBC that all forms of hatred need to be rejected, including antisemitism, Islamophobia and misogyny.“My concern is there’ll be people across the country, people who are Muslim, or look like Muslims, who’ll be really concerned about entering into politics, because they know if these are the sorts of comments that are said against me by a senior Conservative, what chance do they have?” he said.Support HuffPostOur 2024 Coverage Needs YouAt HuffPost, we believe that everyone needs high-quality journalism, but we understand that not everyone can afford to pay for expensive news subscriptions. That is why we are committed to providing deeply reported, carefully fact-checked news that is freely accessible to everyone.Whether you come to HuffPost for updates on the 2024 presidential race, hard-hitting investigations into critical issues facing our country today, or trending stories that make you laugh, we appreciate you. The truth is, news costs money to produce, and we are proud that we have never put our stories behind an expensive paywall.Would you join us to help keep our stories free for all? Your contribution of as little as $2 will go a long way.As Americans head to the polls in 2024, the very future of our country is at stake. At HuffPost, we believe that a free press is critical to having well-informed voters. That's why our journalism is free for everyone, even though other newsrooms retreat behind expensive paywalls.We cannot do this without your help. Support our newsroom by contributing as little as $2 to keep our news free for all.As Americans head to the polls in 2024, the very future of our country is at stake. At HuffPost, we believe that a free press is critical to creating well-informed voters. That's why our journalism is free for everyone, even though other newsrooms retreat behind expensive paywalls.Our journalists will continue to cover the twists and turns during this historic presidential election. With your help, we'll bring you hard-hitting investigations, well-researched analysis and timely takes you can't find elsewhere. Reporting in this current political climate is a responsibility we do not take lightly, and we thank you for your support.Contribute as little as $2 to keep our news free for all.Support HuffPostRelatedIsraelsadiq khan

Latest news

- Advertisement -