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After US attacks on Houthis, Blinken visits Middle East


The tensions between the Houthis and the US are intricately connected to the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The Houthis claim to have targeted vessels in the Red Sea as a demonstration of their support for the Palestinians.

The organisation focuses explicitly on ships that are either owned or controlled by Israel or are en route to Israeli ports. Nevertheless, a significant number of the boats that have been targeted lack any affiliation with Israel.

The Yemen-based Shia organisation proclaims its affiliation with the Iranian-led "axis of resistance" against Israel, the US, and the broader Western nations. This alliance includes other armed groups, including Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Yahya Sarea, the spokesperson for the Houthi military, recently restated that the organisation believes it has a "moral, religious, and humanitarian position" in backing the resistive population in the Gaza Strip.

Houthi deputy foreign minister calls US 'lying'

We have an additional communication from the Houthi faction to share with you.


The deputy foreign minister of the Houthi-led administration in north-western Yemen has accused the United States of disseminating falsehoods on the conditions in the Red Sea and the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.


Hussein al-Ezzi, as stated by Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV, asserts that navigation in the Red Sea is secure.


During a press conference in Sanaa, he said that the objective of the Iran-backed group's assaults on commercial and navy vessels is to "hinder the passage of Israeli ships to the occupied Palestinian ports until the aggression ceases."


In addition, he asserts that the "deployment of military forces by the United States and United Kingdom in the Red Sea" presents a risk to the safety and protection of marine activities.


According to the United States and the United Kingdom, the Houthis have conducted over 30 "reckless and destabilising" assaults in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since mid-November. These latest strikes have been aimed at disrupting and weakening the organisation's military capabilities.


Houthi TV reports 15 US Yemen raids


The Houthi group controls it. According to Al-Masirah TV, US planes conducted 15 nocturnal airstrikes on regions of western Yemen that are under the authority of the Iran-supported faction. It is uncertain if these strikes correspond to the ones disclosed by the US military, as said to have occurred on Sunday morning by authorities.

According to the source, a further four attacks occurred in the eastern Saada province, which is considered the Houthis' primary region in the north.

Al-Masirah did not document any harm or fatalities.

The most recent statement from the US military's Central Command said that its troops successfully targeted a Houthi land attack cruise missile and four anti-ship cruise missiles. However, no specific information on the locations of these strikes was provided.

Yahya Sarea, the military spokesperson for the Houthi group, said that the United States and the United Kingdom conducted a total of 48 airstrikes on the provinces of Sanaa, Hudaydah, Bayda, Taiz, and Lahij on Saturday night.


Blinken worries US is inciting violence

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is making his sixth trip to the Middle East since the beginning of the Israeli war against Hamas in Gaza. This conflict was initiated in response to the Hamas assaults in Israel that occurred last October. He confronts several obstacles and increasing American engagement in conflicts inside the area.

His primary focus will be engaging in challenging negotiations to get an agreement that would facilitate the liberation of a portion of the over 100 hostages now held captive in Gaza. Additionally, he will strive for a temporary cessation of hostilities to enable the crucial delivery of humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in the region. Simultaneously, he will encounter apprehensions from some individuals in the area who believe that the recent American measures against Iran and its allies are exacerbating conflict rather than mitigating it.

During the weekend, the United States launched a series of military strikes against many Iranian targets located in Iraq and Syria. This action was taken in retaliation for an assault on a US military post in Jordan, which resulted in the deaths of three American troops. The White House asserts that the attacks marked the first phase and anticipates more actions. The ongoing US-led effort in Yemen aims to diminish the Houthis' capacity to target commercial boats in the Red Sea, which has resulted in significant disruptions to international commerce.

The American strikes have been carefully adjusted to prevent further escalation of hostilities. Thus far, Iran and its allies in Iraq and Syria have reacted restrainedly. This suggests that Tehran has chosen to pursue a de-escalation strategy rather than engage in retaliation.

Iran 'exploiting the Palestinian question'—ex-UK UN ambassador

Sir John Sawers, the former permanent representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations, asserts that Iran is capitalising on the Palestinian issue.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Sawers asserts that Tehran views the problem as peripheral to its objectives but uses it to demonstrate its might in the area.

Sawyers asserts that Iran has established these militias to function independently, perhaps indicating a lack of complete control over their actions.

He cites the case of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which gets financial support and weaponry from Iran. Sawers assert that Hamas did not see the need to obtain Tehran's endorsement for the assault on 7 October, so enabling Iran to disavow any role.

Although Iran's efforts in the broader area are noteworthy, Sawers asserts that the government is now grappling with formidable issues, such as separatist movements, terrorism, and the crucial matter of determining the successor to the 84-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Blinken visits the Middle East fifth time since 7 Oct.

Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State of the United States, is scheduled to arrive in the Middle East for his sixth visit to the area since early October.

He is anticipated to visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Israel, and the West Bank in the next five days.

Before his journey, Blinken emphasised the imperative need to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza promptly. Both local and international humanitarian organisations have consistently urged for a cessation of hostilities in response to the severe consequences of Israel's intensive aerial attacks on the blockaded Palestinian territory.

Blinken's visit comes after the United States conducted airstrikes on Iran-backed militias in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. These actions were in response to an assault on a US military post in Jordan, which resulted in the deaths of three American troops.

Additionally, there have been indications of a divergence between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the United States about the future of Gaza after the conflict.

US air assaults on Yemen resume after the weekend.

Good morning. We are resuming our reporting on the most recent US air attacks in Yemen and the broader turmoil in the Middle East. This text continues our previous material.

The US military successfully targeted a land-attack cruise missile and four anti-ship cruise missiles that were being readied by the Houthis in Yemen for an imminent launch on vessels in the Red Sea.

The subsequent assaults ensued after a collaborative endeavour executed by the United States and the United Kingdom on Saturday, constituting the third instance of synchronised offensives against the Yemeni faction supported by Iran, known as the Houthis.

Prior to this, a previous round of US airstrikes targeted many targets in Iraq and Syria that were associated with Iran. These attacks were conducted as a retaliation to a drone assault on a US air base last weekend, resulting in the deaths of three troops.

Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State of the United States, is scheduled to arrive in the Middle East. The UN Security Council will also convene this afternoon to deliberate on the most recent airstrikes.

Adam Durbin, Ali Abbas Ahmadi, Johanna Chisholm, and James FitzGerald oversee events in London.

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