US carries out new strike in Yemen as it seizes Iran weapons bound for Houthis – live

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Aerial footage shows moment RAF Typhoon strikes Yemen military target

The US military has carried out a new strike in Yemen in the latest military action against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels over their targeting of Red Sea shipping.

Two officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the strike targeted four anti-ship missiles.

This comes as US naval forces have seized the first batch of Iranian weapons components bound for Houthi rebels since the militant group began its Red Sea attacks late last year.

US Central Command, which oversees the Middle East, said US Navy Seals, supported by helicopters and drones, conducted a night-time seizure of a vessel off the coast of Somalia, south of Yemen. They said it had been illegally transporting weapons parts to the Houthis.

“Initial analysis indicates these same weapons have been employed by the Houthis to threaten and attack innocent mariners on international merchant ships transiting in the Red Sea,” the statement read.

It comes as the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) announced they were investigating a missile attack on another commercial vessel in the Red Sea.

Greek officials have confirmed that the attacked ship is the Malta-flagged Zografia, which had been heading to the Suez Canal when it was struck.

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Will the clash with the Houthi rebels lead to global conflict?

Would the US and the UK be prepared to put boots on the ground in Yemen (as Boris Johnson proposed)? Will a prolonged air campaign be enough to paralyse the Iran-backed Houthis? There are many difficult questions left to answer over the Middle East’s latest hotspot, warns Kim Sengupta:

Will the clash with the Houthi rebels lead to global conflict?

Would the US and the UK be prepared to put boots on the ground in Yemen (as Boris Johnson proposed)? Will a prolonged air campaign be enough to paralyse the Iran-backed Houthis? There are many difficult questions left to answer over the Middle East’s latest hotspot, warns Kim Sengupta

Maroosha Muzaffar17 January 2024 06:30

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Biden administration to relist Houthis as global terrorists

The Biden administration is planning on redesignating Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen as specially designated global terrorists, the Associated Press reported.

In 2021, US secretary of state, Antony Blinken delisted the Houthis as both a foreign terrorist organisation and as specially designated global terrorists in February 2021 as the administration sought to make it easier to get food imports and humanitarian aid into Yemen.

Maroosha Muzaffar17 January 2024 06:00

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Who are Yemen’s Houthis? The Iran-backed rebels attacking ships in the Red Sea

The Islamist group claims it began striking a narrow strip of sea between Yemen and east Africa, which is a key international trade route, in a bid to end Israel’s air and ground offensive against Hamas.

In retaliation, Britain and the US launched air strikes across Yemen against Houthi forces. President Joe Biden called the strikes a “direct response” to an onslaught of attacks on Red Sea ships which “jeopardised trade, and threatened freedom of navigation”.

Rishi Sunak said the action was “necessary and proportionate”.

Maroosha Muzaffar17 January 2024 05:30

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ICYMI: Keir Starmer: Labour backs strikes on Houthi rebels to protect UK

Those who seek to damage Britain should be in no doubt as to the seriousness of our country’s resolve in response to their aggression, says Keir Starmer:

Maroosha Muzaffar17 January 2024 05:00

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Yemen ask the UK to support Gaza ceasefire

Yemen has called on the UK to change its Gaza policy and support an immediate ceasefire.

Ahmad bin Mubarak, Yemen’s foreign minister, conveyed this message during a phone conversation with the UK Middle East minister, Lord Ahmad, it was reported.

Both sides in Yemen’s civil war, the UN-recognised government and the Houthi rebels, now endorse an immediate Gaza ceasefire.

The UK states that there is no connection between the US-UK strikes on Houthis in the Red Sea and Gaza but Houthis have claimed that their actions aim to pressure Israel into allowing more humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Maroosha Muzaffar17 January 2024 04:30

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US national security adviser says stopping Houthi Red Sea attacks is an ‘all hands on deck’ problem

A senior White House official said Tuesday that addressing the ongoing threat by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on commercial vessels in the Red Sea is an “all hands on deck” problem that the US and allies must address together to minimise impact on the global economy.

“How long this goes on and how bad it gets comes down not just to the decisions of the countries in the coalition that took strikes last week,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said during an appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Read the full story here:

Maroosha Muzaffar17 January 2024 04:00

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Two Navy SEALs lost at sea were on mission targeting Houthi weapons shipment, says Pentagon

Two US Navy SEALs were lost at sea on a mission targeting Iranian weapons deliveries to Houthis in Yemen, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

The night-time mission ended with the seizure of a small sailing boat that was transporting “advanced lethal aid” to the Yemeni rebel group as part of its “campaign of attacks against international merchant shipping,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

The SEALs had been reported missing in the days following the mission, which took place on 11 January off the coast of Somalia, but its purpose had not been revealed. The two SEALs were still lost at sea as of Tuesday morning.

US officials told the Associated Press this weekend that the SEALs were on an interdiction mission, and were climbing up onto the vessel when one was knocked off by high waves. The second SEAL then jumped in after the first, following protocol.

“We are conducting an exhaustive search for our missing teammates,” said General Michael Erik Kurilla, USCENTCOM Commander.

Maroosha Muzaffar17 January 2024 03:30

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Iran strikes ‘militant bases’ in Pakistan

Iran has reportedly launched airstrikes on Balochistan in Pakistan, targeting the Sunni militant group Jaish al-Adl.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry condemned the “illegal” airstrike and claimed that two children were killed and three others injured.

Pakistan also summoned Tehran’s senior diplomat in Islamabad to protest against the “unprovoked violation of its airspace”.

Pakistan has become the third country after Iraq and Syria to be targeted by Iranian attacks in the past few days.

These attacks are seen as a part of a series of reprisals against Tehran’s perceived enemies, especially in the wake of a double suicide bombing in the city of Kerman on 3 January, in which more than 80 Iranians were killed.

Isis claimed responsibility for that attack. However, the Guardian reported that it was unclear if Iran believed that Jaish al-Adl was involved in the Kerman bombing.

The attack by Iran comes amid heightened tensions in the region amid Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.

Iran has stated that it does not want to get involved in the wider conflict but the groups in its “Axis of Resistance” – a network of autonomous militant Islamist groups – have been carrying out attacks on Israel and its allies.

Maroosha Muzaffar17 January 2024 03:05

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Iran claims attack on Israeli ‘spy base’ in Iraq as Middle East turmoil grows

Iraq has vowed to take Iran to the UN Security Council over what Tehran has claimed was an attack on an Israeli “espionage headquarters” in the north of the country – as fears over the spread of conflict across the region in the wake of Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza continue to grow.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said that it had launched ballistic missiles at the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region where it claimed it hit a complex belonging to Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. However, Iraq’s government issued a statement saying the Iranian attack was “a blatant violation” of its sovereignty and “strongly contradicts the principles of good neighbourliness and international law, and threatens the security of the region”. There has been no comment from Israel.

The IRGC also said it had struck in Syria, against Isis, as part of a response to an attack in the Iranian city of Kerman earlier this month that killed more than 80 people. The bombing attack was claimed by an Isis branch based in Afghanistan, but Tehran – hostile to Israel for decades – claimed that Israel had somehow aided the attack, without providing any evidence.

Maroosha Muzaffar17 January 2024 02:58

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Shell suspends shipping through Red Sea, report says

Oil giant Shell decided to suspend all its shipments through the Red Sea last week after ships passing through the area were repeatedly targeted by Houthi attacks, according to a report.

The Wall Street Journal said Shell declined to confirm that it would no longer be sending ships transporting fossil fuels past the west Yemini coast where missiles have been hitting the vital shipping route.

Sources told the paper that the decision was taken after the US and UK launched counter attacks on Houthi targets in response to the group’s actions.

Maira Butt17 January 2024 01:51

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