update deskIsrael at War

Israel’s Arrow system intercepts Houthi missile from Yemen

The IDF also downed a drone that set off sirens in Eilat and was claimed by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Israelis crowd a beach at Eilat on the Red Sea, Aug. 9, 2023. Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90.
Israelis crowd a beach at Eilat on the Red Sea, Aug. 9, 2023. Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90.

Israel’s Arrow air-defense system has intercepted a surface-to-surface missile launched at the Jewish state from the “Red Sea area,” the military said on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Yemen’s Houthi rebels confirmed the Iranian-backed terror group fired ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as launched aerial drones at Israel on Tuesday.

Houthi spokesperson Gen. Yahya Sarea said that the attacks will continue “until Israeli aggression ceases.”

The IDF said it intercepted two ballistic missiles, one cruise missile and several drones above the Red Sea heading in the direction of Eilat.

One of the missiles was tracked by the Israeli Air Force and intercepted by the Arrow system “at the most appropriate operational time and location,” according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The incident marks the first operational use of the long-range Arrow defense system in the current war, said the IDF.

Also on Tuesday morning, Israeli fighter jets downed other “hostile targets”—believed to be drones—that were flying in the Red Sea area, according to the IDF.

“All the threats were intercepted outside the territory of the State of Israel. No intrusion into Israeli territory was detected,” according to an IDF statement.

The Houthis earlier claimed responsibility for the Tuesday morning drone attack, which set off air-raid sirens in Eilat.

“These drones belong to the state of Yemen,” Abdelaziz bin Habtour, prime minister of the Houthi government, told AFP, adding that that attack was in retaliation for Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

Some 30 minutes after sirens sounded in Eilat, the Israel Defense Forces released an update stating that an “aerial target” had been identified “approaching Israeli territory,” adding that “there was no threat or risk to civilians.”

The IDF initially did not confirm reports that a drone had been intercepted, or state from which direction the threat had approached.

However, Houthi rebels in Yemen appeared to threaten the Israeli city on Friday night, with senior Houthi leader Hizam al-Asad tweeting the single word “Eilat” in Arabic.

Earlier on Friday, the IDF said that a fighter jet had intercepted an “aerial threat” over the Red Sea, which came hours after a drone attack on the Egyptian resort town of Taba in the Sinai Peninsula that wounded six people.

Taba is located along the border with Israel, some six miles from Eilat, Israel’s southernmost city.

Two Egyptian security sources told Reuters that a projectile also fell in the Red Sea town of Nuweiba.

Last week, the USS Carney, a U.S. Navy destroyer, shot down missiles and drones from Yemen that could have been aimed at Israel, the Pentagon said.

“The crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS Carney, operating in the northern Red Sea earlier today, shot down three land-attack cruise missiles and several drones that were launched by Houthi forces in Yemen,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Defense Department spokesman.

“They were launched from Yemen, heading north along the Red Sea, potentially toward targets in Israel,” he added.

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