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US-British forces strike Houthi targets in Yemen, Houthi outlet says

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Yemen's port city of Hodeidah and other western coastal areas were hit on Monday by at least 17 airstrikes attributed to a U.S.-British coalition defending ships in the Red Sea, according to Al Masirah, the main Houthi-run television news outlet.

Aerial cityscape view to Hudaydah city © Mena Today 

Yemen's port city of Hodeidah and other western coastal areas were hit on Monday by at least 17 airstrikes attributed to a U.S.-British coalition defending ships in the Red Sea, according to Al Masirah, the main Houthi-run television news outlet.

The strikes follow the first civilian fatalities and vessel loss since the Iran-aligned Houthis began attacking commercial shipping in November. They also coincide with the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a period of fasting for Muslims.

Al Masirah did not specify which targets, if any, had been hit, but said four of the strikes had been on the port of Ras Issa.

Despite reprisals from the U.S.-British coalition and other navies, the Houthis have escalated their campaign of attacks on commercial vessels in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, which they say is in solidarity with the Palestinians under attack in Gaza in Israel's war with Hamas.

The Houthis killed three crew of the Barbados-flagged, Greek-operated True Confidence on Wednesday in an attack off the port of Aden.

That came days after the sinking of the cargo ship Rubymar, which went down about two weeks after being hit by a Houthi missile on Feb. 18.

Many ships are now making the longer, more expensive trip around Africa's Cape of Good Hope to avoid the dangerous route through the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal - sharply raising shipping costs.

Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari in Aden, Adam Makary in Cairo

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