The attack on Yemen by US, UK and other forces is a dangerous escalation of the war in the Middle East. It is a direct consequence of their governments’ support for Israel’s three-month attack on Gaza and the Palestinian people more generally. We have argued throughout that this support is likely to lead to wider war throughout the region and this is now being borne out. This is the most dangerous time for more than two decades in the Middle East and the refusal of the western powers to condemn Israel’s actions is threatening the further spread of war to Yemen, Lebanon and elsewhere, and raising the spectre of nuclear weapons use.

Yemen has suffered a terrible war for much of the last decade, where Saudi Arabia – backed and supported by the British government – repeatedly bombed the country in opposition to the Yemeni Houthis. There is now a truce where the Houthis control large parts of Yemen. Even Saudi Arabia has now called for ‘restraint’ and it is notable that these missile strikes have been carried out by western powers, with only Bahrain from the Middle East taking part.

The US has 57,000 military personnel in the Middle East in order to enforce its interests. It has invaded and occupied Iraq, bombed Syria, and intervened repeatedly in the region, which has become ever more unstable as a result. UK participation in this shocking attack was not even discussed in Parliament; MPs must now demand both a ceasefire and an end to this dangerous escalation.

The attack is on missile sites used by the Houthis, who have been attacking and disrupting shipping in the Red Sea in support of the Palestinians. Their actions reflect the levels of discontent across the Middle East at the genocidal attacks by Israel. The Houthis are allied to Iran and the danger is that war will spread there, with devastating consequences.

The Houthis have made clear that they will stop these attacks if there is a ceasefire in Gaza. The US and UK governments should be demanding that Israel stops its attacks and implements a ceasefire, rather than bombing a very poor country. These strikes make our protests here and calls for ceasefire even more vital.

Stop the War Coalition & Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

12 Jan 2024 by Stop the War

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