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Israel Foils Aerial Threat in Red Sea Region; Iran-Backed Houthis Claim Responsibility

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

In a dramatic turn of events, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported on Tuesday that they successfully thwarted an aerial threat in the vicinity of the Red Sea. The attempted attack, attributed to the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, has escalated tensions in the region. The Houthi forces claimed credit for the attack in a statement aired on their television channel, Al-Masirah TV.

According to Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree, a spokesperson for the Houthi forces, the operation involved the launch of ballistic missiles and drones by the Yemeni Armed Forces aimed at various targets within Israel. Saree referred to all of Israel as "occupied territories" and stated that this operation marked the third in support of the Palestinian people. He further warned of additional strikes if what he termed "Israeli aggression" did not cease.

The Houthi rebels, a Shia political and military organization in Yemen, have been engaged in a protracted civil war against a coalition supported by Saudi Arabia. This latest act by the Houthis is seen as a significant escalation and has raised concerns about the potential for a broader conflict in the region.

In response to the threat, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed that they deployed their Arrow aerial defense system for the first time, successfully intercepting a surface-to-surface missile fired from the Red Sea region. The use of the Arrow defense system, designed for high-altitude missile interception, suggests that the Houthi rebels utilized a more advanced, long-range missile for their attempted attack. Additionally, Israeli jets intercepted what the IDF described as "aerial threats," successfully neutralizing them outside Israeli territory.

This incident highlights the growing concerns about the escalating hostilities between Israel and various regional actors, including Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian commented on the situation, noting that the "expansion of conflicts in the region" is underway and that resistance group members would not remain silent against the United States' perceived support of Israel. He also emphasized the importance of utilizing political opportunities to prevent the situation from spiraling further out of control.

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