A third wave of US and UK strikes targeted 36 Houthi targets in Yemen, eliciting a vow from the Houthi militant group to continue attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea. Six other countries supported the military action, including Canada, the Netherlands, and Bahrain. The strikes aimed at dismantling Houthi targets and capabilities used to attack international shipping.

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron defended the strikes, citing the threat posed by Houthi actions to innocent lives, freedom of navigation, and regional stability. US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin echoed this sentiment, emphasising the consequences if the Houthi attacks persist.

Houthi official Mohammed al-Bukhaiti responded by declaring that Red Sea attacks will persist until Israel halts its assault on Gaza. Israeli air raids on Khan Younis and Rafah have intensified. The Houthi military spokesperson, Yahya Sarea, warned of retaliation, claiming to have launched 48 attacks in response to the strikes. Experts are divided on the impact of the strikes on the Houthi’s military and political base in Yemen.

The strikes in Yemen coincide with US retaliation for attacks on its military bases in Iraq, Jordan, and Syria. The US targeted over 85 sites linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its supported militias. The strikes, sparked by the killing of three US soldiers, have reignited tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Iraq and Russia called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to condemn the US actions, with Iraq’s national security adviser criticising the strikes for jeopardising regional security.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that at least two children were killed in an Israeli attack on a kindergarten in Rafah, southern Gaza. The death toll from Israeli air raids in eastern Rafah has now risen to 24 people. Israel has announced plans for a ground invasion.

Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed at least 27,365 Palestinians, most of whom were women and children, and wounded 66,630.

France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Stephane Sejourne, commenced his Middle East tour with a visit to Egypt. During his meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Sejourne communicated France’s commitment to a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. He stressed the importance of restarting talks for a two-state solution in the region.