The Houthis reported the first civilian death in US and British airstrikes after the latest round of joint raids over the weekend.

“The American-British aggression on the district of Maqbana in the governorate of Taiz has left one civilian dead and eight wounded,” the Houthis’ official news agency Saba said. The Houthis made the statement a day after US and British forces said that they fired on 18 targets across the country.

The US-British strikes were in response to dozens of Houthi drone and missile attacks on Red Sea shipping since November, which they say are in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza war.

The Houthis, who control war-torn Yemen’s most populated areas, previously reported the death of 17 of their fighters in the Western strikes targeting military facilities.

The Houthi attacks have had a significant effect on traffic through the busy Red Sea route, forcing some companies into a two-week detour around Southern Africa. Last week, Egypt said that Suez Canal revenues were down by up to 50% this year.

Washington, Israel’s vital ally, gathered an international coalition in December to protect Red Sea traffic. It launched several rounds of strikes as well as four joint raids with Britain, which began last month.

The Houthis initially said that they were targeting Israel-linked shipping in the Red Sea and adjoining Gulf of Aden, but then declared that US and British interests were also “legitimate” targets.

With AFP