Israel deploys missile boats in Red Sea as Houthis attack from Yemen
PHOTO CAPTION: A missile is launched during a joint exercise called the 'Great Prophet 17', in the southwest of Iran, in this picture obtained on December 22, 2021. IRGC/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -The Israeli military said it had deployed missile boats in the Red Sea on Wednesday as reinforcements, a day after the Iran-aligned Houthi movement said it had launched missile and drone attacks on Israel and vowed to carry out more.
Images disseminated by the military showed Saar-class corvettes patrolling near Eilat port in the Red Sea, which Israel sees as a new front as its war in Gaza draws retaliation from Iran-aligned pro-Hamas forces elsewhere in the region.
The Houthi movement said on Tuesday they had launched three drone and missile attacks towards Israel since the start of the Hamas-Israel war on Oct. 7. It vowed there would be more such attacks to come "to help the Palestinians to victory".
In what appeared to be a new attack overnight, the Israeli military said it had intercepted an "aerial threat" over the Red Sea.
Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said on Tuesday the Houthi attacks were intolerable, but declined to elaborate when asked how Israel might respond.
The Houthis are part of the Iran-aligned regional alliance hostile to Israel and the United States which includes Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iran-backed militias in Iraq.
The Houthis govern swathes of Yemen including the capital Sanaa, more than a thousand miles from Israel.
Missiles and drones fired at Israel from the Red Sea area since Oct. 7 have so far either been shot down or fallen short.
In an Oct. 27 incident, Israel said the Houthis were behind a drone attack that caused explosions in two Egyptian towns on the Red Sea, saying they had been intended to hit Israel.
(Writing by Dan Williams and Tom Perry; Editing by Alison Williams)