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Updated January 12th, 2024 at 18:34 IST

Biden Faces Democrat Fury As He Authorises Air And Missile Strikes In Yemen

“Today, at my direction, US military forces successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels," Biden said.

Reported by: Digital Desk
US
US President Joe Biden, and Yemen's Houthis in Red Sea. | Image:AP
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Democrats have responded with fury after the US President Joe Biden authorised the air and missiles strikes on the targets of the Iran-backed Yemeni militia Houthi, prompting fears of destablization of the Middle East region.

The United States and the United Kingdom forces, backed by Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands, struck as many as 60 Houthi targets in at least 16 locations in response to Houthi’s targeting of the commercial vessels in the strategy maritime route of Red Sea. The Houthis have been attacking the Israel bound cargo ships in Red Sea since mid-October in a show of support to its Palestinian brethren Hamas.

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“Today, at my direction, US military forces ... successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most vital waterways,” US President Joe Biden said.

US President Biden described the strikes as “direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea—including the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles for the first time in history.” Biden stressed that these attacks “have endangered US personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardized trade, and threatened freedom of navigation.”

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According to US President the airstrikes would “send a clear message that the United States and our partners will not tolerate attacks on our personnel or allow hostile actors to imperil freedom of navigation in one of the world's most critical commercial routes.” He warned that US "will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary.”

California Rep. Ro Khanna asserted that Biden must consult the US Congress before making decisions to strike Houthis inside Yemen. "The President needs to come to Congress before launching a strike against the Houthis in Yemen and involving us in another middle east conflict. That is Article I of the Constitution. I will stand up for that regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican is in the White House," Khanna said on X.

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Barbara Lee, who represents California district, slammed Biden for spilling war in the Middle East. "Violence only begets more violence,” Lee said in a post on X, demanding for a ceasefire. "This is why I called for a ceasefire early. This is why I voted against war in Iraq. Violence only begets more violence. We need a ceasefire now to prevent deadly, costly, catastrophic escalation of violence in the region," she said. Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene slammed Biden on X. “The President must come to Congress for permission before going to war. Biden can not solely decide to bomb Yemen,” Greene said.

‘Exercise restraint, avoid escalation’: Saudi Arabia, Oman

US-UK airstrikes in Yemen triggered warnings of exercising restraint and "avoiding escalation”by the Saudi Arabia. Kingdom's foreign ministry said on Friday that it was closely monitoring the situation with "great concern.” Saudi Arabia engaged in peace talks with Yemen's Houthis in recent years to maintain peace in the region. "The kingdom emphasizes the importance of maintaining the security and stability of the Red Sea region, as the freedom of navigation in it is an international demand," its foreign ministry stressed.

In response to the US led airstrikes in Yemen, Russia requested an emergency meeting of the UN security council, state affiliated RIA Novosti reported, citing Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova.

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Oman openly denounced the American and British air strikes against Yemen’s Houthis, expressing grave concerns about the spillover of the Israel Hamas war. “We denounce the resort to military action by allies while Israel persists in its brutal war without accountability,” the foreign ministry statement said.

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Published January 12th, 2024 at 18:34 IST

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