The Houthis launch attacks on commercial ships they suspect of being linked to Israel in response to the aggression against Gaza (Anatolia)

Sanaa -

At nine in the evening on February 3rd, a violent explosion sounded in the Presidential House complex in the capital, Sanaa. Bassam felt that his house was about to fall on his head, which reminded him of the scars he sustained as a result of shattered windows in a similar accident years ago.

Minutes later, he was browsing a news item in which the Houthi group said that “American and British fighter jets renewed their bombing of the city.”

Bassam, who lives near the presidential complex that extends over a wide area, says, “Arab coalition fighters previously bombed the same place for 8 years, so what could remain there?”

After more than a month of continuous aerial bombardment, Washington argues that its operations will stop Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, while since November 19, the Houthis have been launching attacks on commercial ships they suspect of being linked to Israel or heading to its ports, and they say that This comes in support of the Gaza Strip, which has been witnessing a war waged by Israel since the seventh of last October.

Goals and losses

Until last week, the Houthi group counted 403 raids, while remaining silent about the nature of the targets and losses, apart from limited data reporting the funeral of at least 23 people, most of them officers.

The strikes did not result in civilian casualties, as this is due to the nature of the military targets.

Eyewitnesses say that the raids target sites bombed by coalition forces, such as Al-Dailami Air Base, Jabal Attan, and the presidential complex. In the coastal city of Hodeidah on the Red Sea, which witnessed an intensity of air strikes, an eyewitness says that the Houthi camps, their movements, and their vehicles in the city are known to everyone, but they are not Being targeted.

But a military source in the forces loyal to the internationally recognized Yemeni government says that the strikes mostly targeted missile launchers and drones, noting that they resulted in deaths from the group and from foreign experts.

The Yemeni government, which has been waging confrontations since the end of 2014 with the Houthis who took control of the capital, Sanaa, has often accused Iran and Hezbollah of supporting them with weapons and experts.

An analysis by the US Defense Intelligence Agency also said that the Houthis used various missiles and drones of Iranian origin.

The US Forces Central Command did not respond to Al Jazeera Net's inquiry about what it targeted during the past days, but its published data indicate that it destroyed surface-to-air missile launchers, anti-ship cruise missiles, drones, and unmanned mobile surface ships.

Military expert Muhammad Al-Kumaim told Al Jazeera Net, "Air strikes have no military value that limits the capabilities of the Houthis, and the greatest thing they can do is weaken the capabilities of their attacks in the Red Sea."

Peace efforts

The air strikes seemed ineffective, as the Houthis escalated their attacks on ships, using advanced weapons, including an underwater ship. They also shot down an American MQ9 aircraft, and recently sank a ship in the Arabian Sea, so that Washington included the group in its ranks. It calls it the “terrorist list,” in an effort to control the group’s behavior.

But the US classification raises fears of the collapse of efforts to achieve peace, which is believed to be imminent.

The UN envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, warned the Security Council against slowing down the pace of these UN-sponsored efforts, as it would be difficult to negotiate with a "group classified as a terrorist."

But Houthi spokesman Muhammad Abdel Salam told Al Jazeera Net that "the understandings with Saudi Arabia and the truce sponsored by the United Nations are still in place, and the Red Sea file is independent of political affairs, even if America and Britain try to link them."

He added, "The delay in signing the agreement is not on our part, but on the Saudi side, and it is not in the interest of bilateral understandings."

The Yemeni government itself, which reluctantly accepted the understandings that took place between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia, hopes that this path will be disrupted, as the understandings trumped its demands that the three references be the basis for any solution.

Abdul Salam says, “The United States and Britain may take advantage of this delay,” adding, “We welcome the Saudi response to the speed of signing the agreement and we hope that it will be soon.” Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said - in press statements - that his country is ready to sign the UN road map. As soon as possible.


For its part, the United Nations warns that the US classification may affect the flow of humanitarian aid and commercial imports to the war-torn country, at a time when more than 18 million people need urgent aid.

Bankers spoke to Al Jazeera Net about their fears of stopping money flows to Yemenis from abroad, which represent a major source of income.

While financial networks began to stop some of their services, the risks also doubled the cost of ship insurance, which was reflected in a huge increase in prices.

The US State Department said, "Washington worked with the shipping and financial sectors, in addition to humanitarian aid organizations, to reduce the impact on the Yemeni people and make them aware of the permitted transactions, despite the sanctions."

But Houthi spokesman Muhammad Abdel Salam downplays this step, saying that it "will not provide anything new, because America has targeted Yemen in economic matters, banking transactions, banks, and others since 2015 and 2016, and the goal is to dissuade and weaken Yemen because of its position in support of the Palestinian people."

He added, "The American measures, whether through military operations or classification on the terrorist list, will not change our position at all. Rather, they will increase our steadfastness, adherence, and solidity in our position of support for the oppressed Palestinian people, and our adherence to and continuation of it."

However, the Yemenis who are struggling with their daily crisis no longer care about the bombing or sanctions, and citizen Bassam told Al Jazeera Net, "We no longer care. Let them bomb wherever they want, and classify whomever they want."

Source: Al Jazeera