Israel intercepts fresh Yemen aerial assault toward south

3 surface-to-surface missiles launched from Red Sea area, at least one shot down by Arrow long-range air defense system; Houthis say launched 'large number' of ballistic missiles, drones with more to come
Yoav Zitun, Lior Ben Ari, Reuters|
The IDF said on Tuesday it intercepted a fresh aerial assault launched from Yemen toward Israel as blasts were heard in the southern resort town of Eilat.
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Two cruise missiles and one surface-to-surface missile were launched at Israel from the Red Sea area, and at least one of them was successfully intercepted by the Arrow long-range air defense system. The IDF said it "tracked the trajectory of the missile" which was successfully intercepted at the "optimal operational moment and location."
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 מערכת חץ 3
 מערכת חץ 3
Arrow 3 air defense system
(Photo: Defense Ministry)
Earlier in the day, IDF jets were scrambled in response to aerial threats over the Red Sea. All threats were neutralized outside Israeli territory with no breaches of Israeli airspace detected.
This latest attack comes shortly after the prime minister of the Iran-backed Houthi government, Abdel-Aziz bin Habtour, claimed responsibility for an earlier drone strike targeting Israel in retaliation for its military actions against Hamas in Gaza.
Bin Habtour told the Hezbollah-linked Lebanese network Al-Mayadeen that "Hamas is an integral part of the Palestinian people, and they cannot be separated from the resistance."
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תימן צנעא מורדים חות'ים חמושים חותים
תימן צנעא מורדים חות'ים חמושים חותים
Houthi rebels in Sanaa, Yemen
(Photo: AFP)
He asserted that "the land occupied by Israel can only be reclaimed through the resistance of the entire society by all means. We in Yemen stand in solidarity with our people in Gaza, Palestine, southern Lebanon, the Golan and every inch of Arab land. We are part of the resistance axis, and the geographical distance will not hinder the Yemeni resistance."
The group's military spokesperson Yahya Saree said in a televised statement that they have launched a "large number" of ballistic missiles and drones toward Israel. He said that this was the third operation targeting Israel with more to come.
The IDF said on Tuesday morning that it identified "an aerial target" approaching Israeli territory, triggering air raid sirens near the southern resort town of Eilat. According to the military, there was no threat to civilians. Loud explosions sounded in the area following the interception of a hostile aircraft before it entered Israeli airspace.
Eilat Mayor Eli Lankri told Ynet shortly after the siren sounded, "We are well acquainted with this threat. We've faced it several times in the past week, with successful interceptions. The city's defense systems have been significantly bolstered in recent days. The siren was activated because it was before the aircraft was handled, but now the situation is returning to normal."
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בתי מלון באילת
בתי מלון באילת
(Photo: Shutterstock)
Meanwhile, Hazam al-Assad, a member of the Supreme Political Council of the Houthi rebels in Yemen, hinted at the Iran-backed group's involvement in the attempted aircraft intrusion.
“Al-Jazeera quoted Israel, I liked the use of the word 'suspicion',” he wrote on his X account, followed by a laughing emoji.
Last weekend, al-Assad tweeted a single word: "Eilat." This tweet garnered global media attention and was perceived as a veiled threat that the rebels in Yemen, backed by Iran, might attempt to target Israel's southernmost settlement.
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הציוץ של חזאם אל-אסד
הציוץ של חזאם אל-אסד
Hazam al-Assad's X post
Last week, explosions were heard near Eilat, and it was later determined that a rocket had fallen in an open area near the town. No alarm was sounded as there was no perceived threat of the rocket hitting an inhabited area. Hamas claimed responsibility for firing the rocket toward the southern city.
Last week, the Air Force intercepted two missiles over the Red Sea. One of the missiles, shot down in the early morning hours, crashed in the Egyptian resort town of Taba on the Sinai Peninsula, near Eilat, injuring six people. Another missile fell in Nuweiba south of Taba. Two weeks ago, Yemeni Houthi rebels fired cruise missiles and drones that were intercepted by a U.S. warship and were intended for Israel.
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