Iran-backed Huthi rebels have fired a series of drones towards the Red Sea city of Eilat in retaliation to Israel's war against Hamas. This marks a terrifying escalation in the conflict and raises fears that the fighting in Gaza could engulf the entire Middle East. Israel now faces attacks by Tehran-backed groups from multiple directions – from Hamas in the east, Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon from the north, Syria's National Defence Forces from the west, and now the Huthis from the south.
Iran has warned that the situation in the Middle East could spiral out of control if a ceasefire is not reached. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran's top diplomat, stated that it was "natural" for Tehran-backed groups like Hezbollah and the Huthis to attack Israel in response to the country's actions. Meanwhile, the Huthis have declared themselves as part of the "axis of resistance," along with Iran and Hezbollah.
The Israeli military intercepted a missile over the Red Sea with their "Arrow" aerial defense system and shot down a drone near Eilat following the drone attack. However, it remains unclear who launched the drones. The Huthis have previously launched missiles and drones toward Israel, and even the US Navy intercepted similar attacks earlier this month. The rising number of attacks by the Huthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, adds to concerns that the conflict between Israel and Hamas could lead to a wider war in the Middle East.
Israel has been heavily bombing the Gaza Strip since the border attack by Hamas on October 7, resulting in a high number of casualties. The conflict has also increased tensions in other areas, with Lebanon's Hezbollah group threatening to join the war if Israel attempts to destroy Hamas. Iran has also supported Hamas, Hezbollah, and other armed groups in the region. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Iran and Hezbollah that they will face severe consequences if they get involved in the conflict.
As the conflict continues, thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have been left devastated by the airstrikes and ground offensive. Homes and infrastructure have been destroyed, and the death toll, particularly among children and women, continues to rise. The UN has called for a ceasefire to allow more humanitarian aid into the enclave, highlighting the urgent need for assistance in the region.