American and British airstrikes kill at least 14 in Yemen

American and British airstrikes kill at least 14 in Yemen

At least 14 people have been killed in Yemen after the US and the UK military jets carried out joint airstrikes in response to a recent surge in Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping.

The strikes on Thursday targeted 13 sites, US officials said. One hit a radio building in Hodeidah province, killing 14 people and injuring more than 35, the Al Masirah television station reported on Friday.

Images aired by Al Masirah showed a bloodied man being carried down a flight of stairs and some people receiving treatment in a hospital.

The airstrikes were a response to the recent surge in attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea, three American officials told the Associated Press.

The strikes targeted a range of underground Houthi facilities, missile launchers, command and control sites and a vessel, the officials said.

The Houthis, in what they have called an act of solidarity with the Palestinians, have been attacking ships linked to Israel and its Western allies since November.

They have also attacked US and allied Western military vessels deployed under operation Prosperity Guardian to stop the attacks and keep the Red Sea shipping lanes open.

The Houthis, an armed political movement that controls Yemen’s capital and its most populous areas, have said the attacks will continue until Israel ends its war in Gaza.

The British Ministry of Defence said the joint operation with the US targeted three locations in the port city of Hodeidah, which it claimed housed drones and surface-to-air weapons.

“As ever, the utmost care was taken in planning the strikes to minimise any risk to civilians or non-military infrastructure,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Conducting the strikes in the hours of darkness should also have mitigated yet further any such risks.”

The Houthi attacks on merchant vessels have prompted many shipping companies to stop using the Red Sea, which accounts for about 12 per cent of the world’s seaborne trade.