Western strikes on Houthis ‘a message to Iran’

“The IRGC made a mistake. They crossed the thin red line between being daring and too aggressive,” says Israeli analyst.

By Pesach Benson | | Topics: Iran, Yemen, Houthis
Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) respond to a simulated small-craft vessel during an anti-terrorism drill on Dec. 6, 2023. Carney is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to help ensure maritime security and stability in the Middle East region. Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Lau/U.S. Navy.
Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) respond to a simulated small-craft vessel during an anti-terrorism drill on Dec. 6, 2023. Carney is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to help ensure maritime security and stability in the Middle East region. Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Lau/U.S. Navy.

The United States and Britain launched airstrikes on Houthi positions in Yemen in the early hours of Friday morning in what one analyst described as a warning to Iran.

“The Houthi attacks on international shipping are something the West can’t ignore. Last night was only a warning. The Western coalition doesn’t want to go to a heavy war with Iran, but they wanted to deliver a message,” said Yair Ansbacher, a fellow at the Misgav Institute for National Security and Zionist Strategy.

Iran, through its proxies, has been trying to encircle Israel, Ansbacher explained. “But the world is showing it won’t tolerate this, and this is good for Israel and good for the world and all people who want freedom,” he added.

According to Ansbacher, the strikes in Yemen won’t have any bearing on Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, “because Israel needs to do in Gaza what Israel needs to do.”

The US and UK strikes also come against the backdrop of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp seizing an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, he noted.

“The IRGC made a mistake,” said Ansbacher. “They crossed the thin red line between being daring and too aggressive.”

According to US Central Command (CENTCOM), Friday’s strikes targeted Houthi radar and air defense systems, as well as storage and launch sites for the militia’s drones and missiles.

US President Joe Biden said the strikes “are in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea—including the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles for the first time in history.”

The strikes came on the heels of a UN Security Council resolution on Wednesday denouncing the Houthi attacks. The resolution was approved by a vote of 11-0, with Russia, China, Algeria and Mozambique abstaining.

The Houthis vowed in early December to target any Israel-bound ship in the Red Sea, regardless of its ownership. Since Oct. 17, they have attacked or harassed 27 ships in international waters, according to CENTCOM. The majority of vessels attacked have not had any apparent connection to Israel.

Among the attacks was the November hijacking of the MV Galaxy Leader. The cargo ship and its crew of 25 are being held hostage in Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah.

From bases along the Yemeni coast, the Houthis have attacked and harassed ships in the Red Sea as they traverse the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, a narrow maritime choke point between the Arabian Peninsula and Africa. The majority of the world’s oil passes through the strait, from the Indian Ocean towards the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.

The attacks have forced some major shipping companies to reroute around Africa, interrupting a crucial global trade route connecting Asia and the Middle East to Europe.

Members

Israel Today Membership

Read all member content. Access exclusive, in-depth reports from Israel! Free Zoom events. Connect with Israel right from your home! Raise a voice of truth and hope. Support Faith-based journalism in Jerusalem!

Monthly
Membership

$5
/ month
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Become a Member

Yearly
Membership

$46
/ year
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 18% Per Month.
Become a Member

Six Months
Membership

$28
every 6 months
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 9% Per Month.
Become a Member

Leave a Reply

Israel Today Newsletter

Daily news

FREE to your inbox

Israel Heute Newsletter

Tägliche Nachrichten

KOSTENLOS in Ihrer Inbox

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter