Thousands Protest in Yemen Supporting Palestinians

Thousands Protest in Yemen Supporting Palestinians
Thousands Protest in Yemen Supporting Palestinians

Thousands of Yemenis attended a protest in Sanaa in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

The Houthis, who control Yemen's capital and most populous areas, have attacked international shipping in the Red Sea region since November in solidarity with the Palestinians in the war between Israel and Hamas, drawing retaliatory U.S. and British strikes since February.

More than 37,266 Palestinians have been killed and 85,102 have been injured in Israeli military offensives on Gaza since Oct. 7, the Gaza health ministry said in a statement.

The U.S. Navy finds itself locked in the most intense sea combat since World War II against Yemen's Houthi rebels, rather than superpowers like Russia or China as long prepared for. Near-daily Houthi attacks since November have targeted over 50 vessels in vital Red Sea shipping routes, dropping traffic volume. 

The rebels' arsenal has grown from rifles to drones, missiles and other weapons relentlessly fired at the Navy, which must shoot down barrages within seconds moving at supersonic speeds. One January battle saw 18 drones, two cruise missiles and a ballistic missile defeated.

While overshadowed by the Israel-Hamas conflict, the U.S.-led campaign aims to keep waterways open against the Houthis, who are trying to boost their position in Yemen's stalemated civil war that has killed over 150,000. But the rebels want to drag the U.S. into direct combat, fitting their "death to America" motto.

The intense combat, involving hundreds of airstrikes on Houthi targets, has no end in sight as Iran is believed to provide the rebels training, intelligence and illegal arms shipments despite U.N. sanctions. Commercial shipping has dropped amid the threat, halving revenue from the Suez Canal for Egypt's struggling economy. With the Navy's aircraft carrier forced to extend deployment, officers acknowledge crew grumblings about not striking harder.