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Yemen warns Israel of more strikes if regime presses on with Rafah ground offensive

In this file picture, members of the Yemeni Armed Forces parade in the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah, Yemen, on September 1, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

A top-ranking Yemeni official says the country’s military will stage more strikes against Israeli-affiliated ships in the Red Sea in case the Tel Aviv regime decides to push ahead with a ground offensive against the southernmost city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip.

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, said on Saturday that the Yemeni Armed Forces will continue their attacks to pressure Israel to completely halt its aggression on Palestinians in Gaza, lift its blockade there, and allow the unrestricted entry of food, medicine, and basic commodities into the coastal territory.

He cautioned Israeli officials against any ground offensive on Rafah, stating that any escalatory measure against the Palestinian population in Gaza would prompt the Yemeni army to up the ante and carry out more operations against the occupying regime’s interests.

Houthi noted that the Yemeni Armed Forces’ retaliatory strikes entail lofty humanitarian, religious and fraternal goals, and are meant to stop the Israeli genocidal war against ordinary people, particularly women, children and the elderly, in Gaza.

“Our operations will continue at times and places of our choosing,” the senior Yemeni official declared.

Houthi also stressed that all US and British assets became legitimate targets in the aftermath of their joint military strikes in Yemen.

He roundly dismissed as flat-out lies Washington and London’s claims about the insecurity of the Red Sea for international shipping and mariners.

The top Yemeni official stated that the leader of the Ansarullah resistance movement, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, has ensured all countries that their respective commercial vessels can easily pass through the Red Sea as long as they are not linked to Israel.

The Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement has warned that a ground offensive on Rafah city will scupper any possibility of captive exchange negotiations.

Speaking to the al-Aqsa television channel, a senior Hamas leader said an Israeli military invasion of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip would “blow up” the talks.

UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell has said that civilians in Rafah must be protected as they have nowhere to go.

Yemenis have declared their open support for Palestine’s struggle against the Israeli occupation since the regime launched a devastating war on Gaza on October 7 after the territory’s Palestinian resistance movements carried out a surprise retaliatory attack, dubbed Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, against the occupying entity.

Yemeni Armed Forces have said that they won’t stop their attacks until unrelenting Israeli ground and aerial offensives in Gaza, which have killed at least 28,176 people and wounded another 67,784 individuals, come to an end. 

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