Yemen’s Houthis claim responsibility for today’s rocket launched toward Eilat

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claim responsibility for a rocket launched toward Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat earlier today.

“We fired a salvo of ballistic missiles at Israeli military targets in Umm al-Rashrash — Eilat,” the statement reads, using the name of an Arab settlement predating the city’s foundation.

Today’s rocket launch activated Israel’s aerial defense system, and at least one projectile was intercepted by the arrow air defense system, according to the IDF.

“Our forces are continuing their operations and enforcing our decision to prevent Israeli ships from passing through the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea, in support of the oppressed Palestinian people,” the group adds in its statement.

Over the past weeks, the Iran-sponsored group has repeatedly fired missiles toward the Israeli port city and targeted ships going through Bab al-Mandab Strait, a strategic waterway connecting the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea, alleging that they belonged to Israel. Some of them had ties to Israeli businessmen.

The White House said Monday that the US may establish a naval task force to escort commercial ships in the Red Sea, a day after three vessels were struck by missiles fired by Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.

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