Israel’s Arrow Intercepts Apparent Houthi Ballistic Missile Headed For Eilat

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Israel’s Arrow air defense system successfully intercepted a ballistic missile over the Red Sea in the early hours of Thursday, believed to have been launched by the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, as stated by the military.

Video footage captured from Eilat, Israel’s southernmost city, depicted smoke trails in the sky resulting from the interception operation.

According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the missile was on a trajectory towards Israel, likely targeting Eilat, when it was neutralized using the sophisticated Arrow system over the Red Sea.

The IDF clarified that the missile was intercepted before breaching Israeli airspace, with sirens activated in Eilat as a precautionary measure against potential falling debris.

The Houthis have not immediately claimed responsibility for the missile attack.

The group, backed by Iran, has previously launched several ballistic missiles and drones towards Eilat in solidarity with the Gaza Strip during conflicts with Israel. However, these projectiles have either been intercepted or failed to reach their intended target. Additionally, a Syria-based Iran-backed faction targeted Eilat with drones, hitting a school in November.

Thursday’s interception marks the sixth instance of the Arrow system intercepting a ballistic missile, all occurring during the Gaza conflict. Israeli fighter jets have also successfully countered cruise missiles and drones launched by the Houthis in recent months.

The Iran-backed Houthis, in control of Yemen’s capital Sanaa since 2014, are aligned with Hamas in what is considered the “axis of resistance” against Israel, supported by Tehran.

Expressing solidarity with the Palestinians, the Houthis have threatened Israel amidst the Israel-Hamas conflict, echoing anti-Israel sentiments with slogans like “Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse the Jews, Victory to Islam.”

In the Red Sea region, the Houthis have targeted both commercial and military vessels on numerous occasions since November.

While claiming to target ships over Israel’s actions in Gaza, the Houthis have often attacked vessels with tenuous or no clear connections to Israel, posing risks to shipping in a critical global trade route linking Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.



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