IDF releases footage of Houthi missiles being downed over Red Sea

Video shows F-35I fighter jet intercepting missile or drone and long-range Arrow system being deployed against Eilat-bound ballistic missile fired from Yemen

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday released a video showing an F-35I fighter jet intercepting a cruise missile launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen.

The IDF described the projectile fired on Tuesday as a cruise missile, while the Houthi rebels said they launched ballistic missiles and drones at Israel.

The military also released footage showing the long-range Arrow missile defense system intercepting a Houthi ballistic missile, apparently bound for the southernmost city of Eilat.

The interception was the second known successful use of the Arrow system, and marked the first against a ballistic missile.

Both interceptions came on Tuesday as the Houthis appeared to step up its attacks, following several unsuccessful attempts to fire on Israel.

The US said in mid-October that it had downed several missiles and drones apparently headed for Israel, and Saudi Arabia also reportedly shot one missile down.

Last week, one drone launched from Yemen slammed into the Egyptian border town of Taba wounding six people. Another drone was intercepted by the Israeli Air Force over the Red Sea, close to the town of Nuweiba.

The IDF announced Wednesday that it was bolstering the Red Sea area with Navy missile boats, following the missile and drone attacks, as Houthis, an Iranian-backed group fighting a civil war in Yemen, vowed to continue firing at Israel.

“Our armed forces launched a large batch of ballistic missiles and a large number of drones at various targets of the Israeli enemy,” Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree said in a televised statement Tuesday. “The Yemeni Armed Forces confirm that this operation is the third operation in support of our oppressed brothers in Palestine and confirm that we will continue to carry out more qualitative strikes with missiles and drones until the Israeli aggression stops.”

The IDF said there was no risk to Israeli civilians amid the attacks, as the missiles and drones were intercepted far from Israeli territory, over the Red Sea.

Houthi rebels published a video Wednesday claiming to show missile and drone launches from Yemen at Israel the previous day. Some of the projectiles were intercepted by Israeli air defense systems and fighter jets, while at least one was reported to have landed in the Jordanian desert.

The attacks come amid continued rocket fire from the Gaza Strip on Israeli towns and cities since Hamas’s October 7 massacre, which saw some 3,000 terrorists burst across the border into Israel by land, air and sea, killing some 1,400 people and seizing at least 247 hostages of all ages.

Tensions are also high on Israel’s northern front, with Hezbollah firing rockets from Lebanon almost daily on northern towns since the war erupted.

Israel has accused Iran of directing the attacks against it.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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