A military spokesman for Yemen’s Houthis, which govern most of north Yemen, said Tuesday they launched missiles and drones at Israel and warned the attacks would continue until Israel ends its war in Gaza.
Israel said it activated its Arrow air defense system for the first time during its Gaza war to intercept a missile fired from the “Red Sea area.” Israeli fighter jets also downed two “hostile targets” flying over the Red Sea that were believed to be drones.
“All the threats were intercepted outside the territory of the State of Israel. No intrusion into Israeli territory was detected,” the Israeli military said.
Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said the operation was the third targeting Israel and warned more attacks would come “until the Israeli aggression stops.” Earlier this month, the Pentagon said a US warship in the Red Sea intercepted missiles and drones fired by the Houthis in Yemen that were headed toward Israel.
The Houthi attacks and threats to launch more are another sign that Israel’s war in Gaza could explode into a major regional conflict. The US has deployed an enormous amount of firepower to the region in the name of deterring other actors from entering the war, raising questions about a potential US response to the Houthis attacks on Israel.
The US has backed a Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis in a brutal war in Yemen since March 2015, although a ceasefire has held relatively well since April 2022. Before the US supported the coalition, the Houthis, who are Zaydi Shia Muslims, were briefly a partner of the US in the fight against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The Houthis are aligned politically with Iran, but it’s not clear how much support they receive from Tehran despite US claims since Yemen has been under a US-Saudi blockade since 2015.