Yemen's Houthis vow to continue Red Sea attacks after US-led air strikes

The chief negotiator for Yemen's Houthis said the group's stance has not changed since the US-led air strikes on its positions, and warned that attacks on ships headed to Israel will continue.

US and British warplanes, ships and submarines last week launched dozens of air strikes across Yemen in retaliation for Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping, which the Iran-backed Houthi rebels cast as a response to Israel's offensive in Gaza.

"Attacks to stop Israeli ships or those heading to the ports of the occupied Palestine will continue," Mohammed Abdulsalam told Reuters on Monday.

He said the group still demands an end to Israel's war on Gaza, and humanitarian aid deliveries to the north and south of the besieged Palestinian enclave.

"We do not want escalation in the Red and Arabian Seas," Abdulsalam said. It was the United States and Britain that were militarizing the Red Sea with their warships, he added.

"Our communication ... continues to clarify our position, and confirm that all commercial ships in the Red and Arabian Seas are safe, with the exception of Israeli ships or those heading to Israel, only and only," he said.

Israel has regularly denied having links to vessels that have come under attack in the Red Sea, and several international shipping lines have paused deliveries or switched to longer, most costly routes.

"Our position comes from religious, moral and humanitarian principles ... as well as in response to the calls of the people of Palestine ... to support the oppressed in the Gaza Strip," Abdulsalam said.

The US military said on Sunday a US fighter jet shot down an anti-ship cruise missile that the Houthis fired towards the USS Laboon in the southern Red Sea. "There were no injuries or damage reported," the US Central Command added.

The Houthi rebels control much of Yemen after nearly a decade of war against a US-backed and Saudi-led coalition.

The UN Security Council on Wednesday demanded the Houthis immediately end attacks on ships in the Red Sea and implicitly endorsed a US-led task force that has been defending vessels while cautioning against escalating tensions.


Source: TRT