Joint Statement to Houthis
On Wednesday, twelve countries led by the US released a joint statement warning Yemeni terror group Houthi of unmentioned consequences if it continues attacking shipping vessels traversing the Red Sea. The statement came a few hours after multiple reports suggested that the US military forces were considering launching direct strikes on Houthis.
The twelve nations demand the Yemeni terrorists end their attacks with immediate effect and release all the vessels and crew members they have illegally detained over the past few weeks. Per the statement, Houthis will face severe consequences if they keep interfering with the free flow of commerce in the Middle East.
Among the signatories of Wednesday’s statement is the United Kingdom, which issued a separate warning to Houthi at the start of the week. The UK said it would soon launch a “direct action” at the terror group for attacking shipping vessels.
A notable signatory is Bahrain. It is the only Middle Eastern nation to have signed the statement. Over the years, Bahrain has had a tense relationship with Iran, which backs the Houthis.
“No Further Warning to Houthi,” US Official Says
Explaining the motive behind the joint statement, a US government official told the press yesterday that Joe Biden intended to send a clear message to Houthi that its attacks on commercial vessels won’t go unpunished. The official then said there would not be another warning to the terror group.
After the release of the statement, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wrote on X that the twelve nations were determined to ensure that Houthi ends its destabilizing attacks on shipping vessels.
Reason Behind Houthis Attacks
Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, Houthis have launched several attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea in support of Hamas, a Gaza-based terror group that infiltrated Israeli territory in early October and killed more than 1,000 people, then took 200 captive.
While Houthi claims to only target shipping vessels tied to Israel, it has leveled attacks on unrelated ships, causing several big shipping firms to change routes. The United Nations maritime agency said on Wednesday that 18 shipping companies had decided to re-route their ships around Africa in an effort to dodge Houthi’s attacks.