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Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim successful test of hypersonic missile, want to start production

US reportedly conducts indirect talks with Houthi-backed Iran to curb Red Sea attacks

A rally to show support for the Palestinians, in Sanaa, Yemen Jan. 31, 2024 (Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah).

The Yemen-based Houthi rebels have successfully tested a hypersonic missile, a Houthi military source, reportedly told the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

“Missile forces of the movement have successfully tested a missile that can reach speeds of up to Mach 8 [6,200 miles per hour] and is powered by solid fuel,” according to another Russian news outlet, Sputnik.

“Yemen plans to begin manufacturing it for use in attacks in the Red and Arabian Seas and the Gulf of Aden, as well as against targets in Israel,” the Houthi spokesman stated.

A hypersonic missile is a missile traveling at 1.6 to 8.0 km per second (1 to 5 mi/s). Such a missile fired from Yemen toward Israel – a distance of about 1,700 km (1,000 miles) – would arrive after only 10 minutes.

In addition, the high speed of hypersonic weapons makes their detection and interception especially difficult to track.

When Hamas launched its war against Israel on Oct. 7 of last year, the Houthi rebel group declared its sympathy with Hamas and has been attacking Israel with drones and missiles ever since.

The Houthis have also been attacking international ships traveling through the Bab el-Mandab strait, in an effort to cut off shipping to the Israeli port of Eilat on the Red Sea.

Despite the U.S.-led international coalition striking Houthi military targets regularly since January, Houthi official Abdul Sattar Al-Nehemi vowed last week that attacks against shipping vessels would continue.

In parallel, the United States unsuccessfully attempted to persuade the Houthis’ most important supporter and sponsor, the Iranian regime, to curb the attacks on the international shipping lanes.

The negotiations were brokered by Oman and held in January, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

It was the first, albeit indirect, engagement between senior U.S. and Iranian officials since the last round of talks about Tehran’s nuclear program failed in May 2023.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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