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UK, U.S. expected to launch strikes against Houthi

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Britain is expected to join the United States in conducting overnight air strikes on military positions belonging to the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, the political editor for the Times newspaper reported on Thursday.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Christopher Furlong/Pool via Reuters

Britain is expected to join the United States in conducting overnight air strikes on military positions belonging to the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, the political editor for the Times newspaper reported on Thursday.

The U.S. has not confirmed any intention to launch air strikes and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Downing Street office did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

Sunak briefed his cabinet of ministers on the imminent military intervention earlier on Thursday, the Times report added.

British media also reported that other political figures, including the leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, as well as the speaker of the House of Commons, had been briefed by the government.

Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi militants have stepped up attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea in protest against Israel's war in Gaza. Various shipping lines have suspended operations, instead taking the longer journey around Africa.

The U.S. military said the Houthis earlier on Thursday had staged their 27th attack on shipping since Nov. 19, firing an anti-ship ballistic missile into international shipping lanes in the Gulf of Aden.

Earlier this week, U.S. and British naval forces had shot down drones and missiles fired by the Houthis towards the southern Red Sea.

Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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