In the news –
1 – Yemeni Houthis Launch Missiles at Israel in Shocking Escalation!
by Faruk Imamovic, Financial World
In a significant escalation of tensions in the Middle East, the Yemeni Houthis announced the launch of ballistic missiles towards Israel. This aggressive move marks a concerning development in the regional conflict dynamics, particularly involving Israel and Iran-backed groups.
Missile Strikes and Aerial Defenses
The Houthis, through their official Telegram channel, declared that their forces targeted various areas in Israel, including the port city of Eilat on the Red Sea. This missile launch followed a drone operation conducted 24 hours earlier against the same Israeli targets, suggesting a calculated and sustained military effort by the Houthi forces.
The Israeli military responded promptly to this threat. They reported intercepting a missile near the Red Sea, employing their advanced “Arrow” aerial defense system. The alarms were triggered in Eilat as the defense system engaged.
Israeli authorities have confirmed that the projectile did not enter Israeli territory, and refrained from specifying the origin of the missile.
Note: Houthis deny the Israeli announcement that they were intercepted by an Arrow system over Red Sea, as per the second article below.
This increase in hostilities signals a worrisome uptick in the group’s capabilities and willingness to engage in direct confrontation.
Wider Implications and Ongoing Conflicts
The recent events have contributed to soaring tensions throughout the Middle East.
International organizations and political leaders are expressing alarm over the potential for a broader regional war. The conflict has seen involvement from various Iran-backed groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, which has exchanged fire with Israeli forces.
Concurrently, Iran-supported groups have targeted U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq, prompting retaliatory strikes by the United States. The Houthis’ resilience and prominence in the Arabian Peninsula have been evident, particularly since the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen began in 2015 with U.S. support. Their latest actions not only underscore their growing military capabilities but also the complex web of alliances and enmities in the region, raising concerns about the stability and future of the Middle East.
2 – Israeli air defense saturation: The Houthis hit Eilat with a ballistic missile for the first time
From War News 24/7
The Houthis launched a barrage of ballistic missiles at Israel, hitting targets in the city of Eilat. Videos show that at least one rocket hit Israeli territory, denying the Israeli announcement that they were intercepted by an Arrow system over Red Sea.
However, the arsenal of the Houthis is impressive. The ballistic attack penetrated multiple layers of US-Israeli air defenses in Eritrea to reach Eilat. We remind you that a few days earlier the Houthis also shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone
Houthi military spokesman Yahya Shareh said “the movement” fired “a bunch of ballistic missiles at various targets of the Israeli enemy in the occupied Palestinian territories,” including the city of Eilat in southern Israel.
It added that the launch came 24 hours after “another military operation carried out by the movement with drones on the same targets”.
It should be noted that there are signs of saturation of the Israeli air defense from the Hamas-Hezbollah-Houthi attacks, with the result that the missiles are now reaching Tel Aviv.
Some Iron Dome systems have experienced malfunctions and it appears that target interception is now an option.
That’s why the US is again sending shipments of anti-aircraft missiles.
Houthi: “Your ships are now a target”
The leader of Yemen’s Ansar Allah rebel movement, also known as the Houthis, which controls the north of the country, threatened on Tuesday to attack Israeli ships in the Red Sea in support of Palestinian movements in the Gaza Strip.
“Our attacks on the enemy with rockets and drones will continue. Our planning for additional operations will continue against all Zionist installations we can reach in Palestine or outside Palestine, and we will not hesitate to do so.
We will make every effort at the military level, using the available means, and our brothers in the missile forces are conducting operations in the south of occupied Palestine,” Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi said in a televised appearance on Al Masirah TV station.
He said that “the eyes of the Houthis are open to constantly monitor and search for any Israeli ship in the Red Sea, especially in the Bab el-Madeb Strait and in the waters bordering Yemeni waters, although Israeli ships disable devices in the Red Sea , they won’t be able to hide ,” adding that the Houthis “will look for the (Israeli) ships and will not hesitate to attack them.”
He added that the Houthi attacks on Israel “will not stop until [the] Israeli attack on the Palestinian people in Gaza stops.”
3 – Signal: Yemen’s Houthi rebels threaten Israeli ships in the Red Sea
by Alex Blair, Ship Technology/GlobalData
Yemen’s Houthi militia group warned yesterday (14 November) that it will attack Israeli ships in the Red Sea, as it claimed responsibility for a missile assault on the key port city of Eilat in southern Israel.
“Our eyes are open to constant monitoring and searching for any Israeli ship,” Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said in a live speech reported by the New Arab. “We will search and verify the ships that belong to [Israel], and we will not hesitate to target them and let everyone know that [Israel] is afraid.”
The Houthis have declared war on Israel in response to the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territories. Control over Yemen’s north-western coastline means the Houthis have vantage points to launch attacks on Israeli ships traversing the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait.
“Israeli-affiliated vessels transiting these regions are at a heightened risk of attack by Houthi rebels or the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy.” Noah Trowbridge, analyst at maritime security firm Dryad Global, told Ship Technology. “Subsequently, traffic of Israeli-flagged vessels seems to have reduced in the Red Sea.”
The Bab al-Mandab Strait chokepoint
The Houthis have claimed that Israeli-affiliated vessels in the Red Sea are withholding AIS signals to avoid identification by Houthi surveillance.
“The enemy relies on camouflage in its movement in the Red Sea, especially in Bab al-Mandab, and did not dare to raise Israeli flags on its ships … and turned off identification devices,” Al-Houthi said.
Ever since the Houthis took control of Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, in 2014, the group has had direct access to the strategically crucial Bab al-Mandab Strait.
The 18-mile-wide pass sits between Yemen and Djibouti, linking the Suez Canal to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea – one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
By laying sea mines, seizing ships or deploying water-borne drones in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, the Houthis could not only disrupt Israel’s trade but the 10% of all global trade that passes through Red Sea waters.
In this scenario, “insurance premiums would soar, and naval inspections would slow down traffic significantly”, Trowbridge said.
Houthi missiles target the Port of Eilat
The Houthis have already set the precedent for such aggression.
Yesterday (14 November), military spokesperson Yahya Sare’e said the Houthis had “fired a salvo of ballistic missiles” towards Israeli targets including the Port of Eilat.
“The port of Eilat has operated as usual since [the Hamas attack] on 7 October,” Ilan Goldenberg, CEO of Israel-based maritime insurance business Harpaz P&I, told Ship Technology. “Israel is equipped with the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile [defence system] and prevented the UAV shot by the Houthi groups to cause damage in Israel.”
Eilat is Israel’s third busiest port – and only Red Sea harbour. Located by the Aqaba Gulf, the Port of Eilat’s main advantage is the shorter shipping route it offers for ships to reach the Indian Ocean from Israel without having to pass through the Suez Canal.
The assault came “after 24 hours of another military operation carried out by our armed forces with drones on the same targets,” Sare’e added.
How did the Houthis reach Israel from Yemen?
More than 2,000km separate the Yemeni border from Eilat. The Houthis were able to launch aerial attacks on the seaport and other Israeli targets by using long-range drones.
The group has some experience in this method, using long-range weapons in previous strikes on Jeddah, Riyadh and other oil facilities in Saudi Arabia amid the Houthis’ ongoing conflict with the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
Houthi forces also shot down a US MQ-9 Reaper drone, which the group claimed crossed over Yemeni airspace. The US has shot down multiple Houthi missiles and drones over the Red Sea.
The Houthi rebel group is part of the so-called ‘Axis of Resistance’ opposing US and Israeli control of the Middle East.
The “Axis of Resistance” is the name of various militias and proxies – a collective alliance – around the Middle East. This includes militia groups in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Bahrain, and Yemen.
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“Signal: Yemen’s Houthi rebels threaten Israeli ships in the Red Sea” was originally created and published by Ship Technology, a GlobalData owned brand.
The Israeli-Palestinian Situation – The Gibraltar Messenger points out that Yemen holds a choke point for the southern entrance to the Red Sea like Iran does to the Persian Gulf. Both could effectively close the Red Sea/Suez Canal and Persian Gulf and attack and sink U.S and allied warships trying to run the blockades. That would cause a major disruption in traffic and oil deliveries.