In Yemen and elsewhere, manageable local issues are driving an unmanageable regional crisis

Unprecedented and alarming breaches of security taboos are jolting the Middle East week after week. The US-led missile strikes on Houthi positions in northern Yemen on January 11 and January 12 were the latest in a series of escalating armed actions in the Middle East, which have been generated by the ongoing war between Israel and militant groups in Gaza. The strikes followed weeks of repeated warnings by the United States to the Iran-backed Houthis over the latter’s continued harassment of commercial vessels traversing the Red Sea. The United States put teeth into its warnings by deploying naval vessels and assembling a coalition of mostly European nations to stand against the attacks. But the Houthis were undeterred. On January 9, the group launched what US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby described the next day as “a complex attack of one-way attack drones, anti-ship cruise missiles, and an anti-ship ballistic missile” toward US ships in the Red Sea. The US-led barrage launched late on January 11 and a follow-up the next day struck positions in the capital, Sana’a, the port city of Hodeidah, and other cities, according to the Houthi’s al-Masirah news platform. The barrage hit radars, missile, and drone launch sites as well as weapons storage areas, said US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a statement. The US and its allies studiously avoided targets that could create casualties—an attempt to prevent a further escalation while deterring the Houthis from their regular attacks. The Houthis will remain defiant. Before the attacks, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled around the region warning of consequences for Houthi leader Abdul-Malik Badr al-Din al-Houthi, who vowed that he would not halt its attacks on ships it believed were linked to Israel, regardless of what the United States and the United Kingdom did. […]

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Click here to visit source. In Yemen and elsewhere, manageable local issues are driving an unmanageable regional crisis

By Donato