Israel-Hamas war: US, UK launch new strikes against Houthis

UK defense secretary says strikes degrade Houthi capabilities

US and UK officials have confirmed new strikes against Houthi positions in Yemen on Monday evening.

The Pentagon said they had targeted an underground storage site, missiles, and other Houthi military capabilities in the latest round of bombings.

“These precision strikes are intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities that the Houthis use to threaten global trade and the lives of innocent mariners,” the statement said.

It was the eighth round of strikes carried out by the US against the Iran-backed rebel group, and the second joint operation with the UK.

UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said the action dealt the Houthis “another blow to their limited stockpiles and ability to threaten global trade.”

The US said Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands supported the latest military action.

Multiple rounds of strikes over the past month have, so far, failed to stop Houthi attacks against shipping in the Red Sea.

US and UK launch strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen for a second time

US and UK forces carried out fresh joint strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen on Monday evening.

Officials reported that the two countries fired Tomahawk missiles from warships and submarines, along with fighter jets, to target Houthi missile storage sites and launchers.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not say how many targets were hit.

This is the second time that the UK has joined the US in launching strikes against Yemen.

Houthi-controlled media reported that the strikes targeted the capital Sanaa and several other provinces. 

The Iran-backed rebel group has repeatedly attacked commercial vessels in the Red Sea since the start of  Israel’s military operation in Gaza. It’s vowed to continue targeting shipping until Israel ends the war. 

EU states agree on military operation in Red Sea

European Union member states have agreed “in principle” to launch a military operation to secure merchant shipping in the Red Sea, the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said after a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels.

Diplomats said the mission would ideally start next month and put an end to attacks by Yemen’s Islamist Houthi militants.

The Iran-allied Houthis began their attacks on vessels in the Red Sea following Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.

Under current plans, the EU mission will include the deployment of European warships and airborne early warning systems to protect cargo ships in the region. Still, there are no plans to participate in US strikes on Houthi positions in Yemen.

Britain “disappointed” by Netanyahu’s stance on two-state model

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to a future sovereign Palestinian state is “disappointing,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office said, reiterating British support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden have disagreed over the future creation of an independent Palestinian state, with Netanyahu saying over the weekend that he would not compromise on “full Israeli security control of all territory west of the Jordan River.”

Asked about Netanyahu’s comments, Sunak’s spokesman told reporters: “It’s disappointing to hear this from the Israeli prime minister.”

“The UK’s position remains (that) a two-state solution, with a viable and sovereign Palestinian state living alongside a safe and secure Israel, is the best route to lasting peace,” the spokesman said.

The two-state solution has long been the fundamental framework of international efforts to resolve the conflict, but the peace process has been moribund for years.

UK, US impose sanctions targeting Hamas financing

The United Kingdom and United States sanctioned critical figures in the financial networks of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another militant group committed to the destruction of Israel, Britain’s Foreign Office said.

According to the statement, five key individuals and one entity involved in the leadership and financial networks of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are subject to the new coordinated sanctions, which aim to cut off the flow of funds that support these terrorist groups, including from Iran.

“These sanctions send a clear message to Hamas — the UK and our partners are committed to ensuring there is no hiding place for those financing terrorist activities,” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said.

The sanctions target Zuheir Shamlakh, a man known as Hamas’s “main money changer” and a key figure involved in the group’s shift towards cryptocurrencies.

Shamlakh exploited digital currencies and existing systems of informal money transfers to move large sums of money from Iran to Hamas ahead of the group’s October 7 attacks on Israel, the Foreign Office added.

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are listed as terrorist organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and some other states.

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