A fighter jet sets off from a British aircraft carrier (Picture: Robert Sullivan)

Britain’s war on Yemen has claimed new deaths. Last Saturday Houthi officials announced that 17 of their fighters had been killed by US and British airstrikes. 

Last Thursday the US military made several raids against Houthi fighters’ missile launch sites. Large funerals were held in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen—a region US and British fighter jets have bombed at least 13 times.

The Iran-backed Houthis have led attacks on 30 commercial ships going through the Red Sea since mid-November to protest Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. The Houthis have launched missiles, drone and boat attacks against Israel-linked commercial vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden on almost a daily basis.

Major shipping companies have stopped using the Red Sea and are using a much longer route around southern Africa instead. 

Almost 15 percent of global shipping trade that usually passes through the Red Sea has been disrupted by the spread of Israel’s war. The US and Britain started carrying out air strikes on Yemen on 11 January in so-called attempts to target Houthi bases. The US also continues to widen the war as it led strikes in Syria, Iran and Iraq last week. 

Biden excused these escalating strikes as a retaliation to three US soldiers being killed by an airstrike on a military base in Jordan near the Syrian border. The imperialist powers are trying to pressure the Houthis to stop their attacks on ships in the Red Sea because of the disruption they are are causing to global capitalism.

The Houthis targeting of ships is very unlikely to stop by the US deadline of the end of this week. 

Most recently they launched attacks against a vessel identified as the Star Iris on Monday. The British maritime security firm Ambrey and the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said that the Greece-owned bulk carrier had been targeted. The ship was shot at by Houthi missiles in two incidents while passing through the Bab al-Mandab Strait.

The Houthis continue to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza, refusing to cave to western imperialism.

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