BRITAIN faced condemnation today after carrying out further bombing raids with the U.S. over Yemen.
Royal Air Force jets took part in a second wave of joint U.S.-British action against Houthi forces on Monday night after the movement’s attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden continued.
Four RAF Typhoons and a pair of Voyager tankers were involved in the latest action.
Several targets were hit at two military sites north of Yemen’s capital Sanaa.
Since November, the Houthis have been targeting merchant vessels they say are shipments linked to Israel amid its war on Gaza.
But Britain and its allies have said the attacks are indiscriminate and have included targeting Royal Navy and allied warships.
The Red Sea passage leading to and from the Suez Canal is one of the world’s most important shipping routes, through which almost 15 per cent of global trade passes.
Britain and the U.S. carried out their first joint strikes on January 11, with the U.S. carrying out several unilateral actions since.
A summary of the British government’s legal position said the nation is permitted under international law to use force “in such circumstances where acting in self-defence is the only feasible means to deal with an actual or imminent armed attack.”
Stop the War Coalition national officer John Rees said that the action was the “largest raid so far on Yemen,” adding:
We were told there was no need for a vote in Parliament because [January 11] was a one-off raid. Well, this is now the second one-off raid.
We should be under no illusion that we are not at war with Yemen. We are.
If things were the other way around and Yemen had carried out eight air raids, including on London, we’d be pretty certain we were at war.
The violent repercussions of Israel’s war on Gaza are spreading across the Middle East and west Asia, threatening a much wider conflict. We must stop bombing Yemen.
Bipartisan backing for the unfolding war against Yemen was pronounced by the Commons today in the wake of the renewed bombing.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer vied with each other in self-righteous denunciations of the Houthis.
Speaking with one voice, they claimed the attacks were “necessary and proportionate” and that the crisis had nothing to do with Israel’s assault on Gaza–notwithstanding the reason given for the attacks by the Houthis is precisely that.
The PM was unable to give any idea as to when the war might end, however, and differences opened up on the Labour benches.
Speaking for the peace tendency, Labour MP John McDonnell demanded an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza and warned that any other strategy to tackle the crisis would fail.
Labour MP Apsana Begum said that “instead of escalating risks to civilians in the region, the UK should be joining international calls for peace, justice and human rights.”
And representing the more numerous imperial dimwit faction, PLP chairman John Cryer denounced the Houthis as “racist and fascist.”
MPs are to have a full debate on the escalating confrontation on Wednesday.
U.S. officials said the strikes have degraded the Houthis’ ability to carry out complex attacks, but reports of Houthi drone activity in the region has followed since.
The Houthis have vowed to retaliate, with military spokesman Yahya Sarea saying the attacks “will not go unanswered or unpunished.”
Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee leader Mohammed Ali al-Houth called Britain and the U.S. “the guardian of Israeli destruction” in reference to “Operation Prosperity Guardian,” the name of their multinational naval coalition in the region.
“It is not possible for America and Britain to be the guardians of prosperity because all parts of the world witness your destruction, or your protection of destruction, as is the case in Gaza, or what you have done in Yemen,” he said.
Your strikes will only increase the strength and determination of the Yemeni people to confront you, because you are the aggressors against our country.
Sanaa residents echoed the attitude. Saleh Admed Ali said he was not scared by the latest strikes:
We are steadfast, and support Palestine from within our hearts.
Murad Mohammed Ali Mubarak compared the strikes to a “spray of water for a thirsty person.”
I swear it will not scare us or turn a hair on our heads. [The US] will see nothing from us but a burning fire and flames, angry and hateful hearts.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the country has given a warning to the U.S. that their strikes in Yemen are a “strategic mistake” and a “threat to peace and security in the region.”
He called it the “intensification of the scope of the war.”
New Zealand announced today that it was sending a six-member team to join an international maritime security coalition in the Red Sea.