Houthis say US-led naval alliance won't deter them

Naval vessel threatened off the Djibouti coast as Danish shipper Maersk says rerouting vessels away from Red Sea; Iran-backed terror group says it has right to support Palestinians in Gaza in intended blockade of Israel

Lior Ben Ari, Nir (Shoko) Cohen, Sharon Kidon|
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels said on Tuesday that they would not be deterred by the international naval alliance established to protect trade routes in the Red Sea from attack. In a statement, the group said the move would not change their course and prevent their support of Palestinians in Gaza until the war ends.
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok >>
More stories:
Also on Tuesday, the Danish Maersk shipping and logistics company said its vessels would bypass the Red Sea and sail around the Cape of Good Hope instead.
3 View gallery
לוחם חות'י צועד עם דגל פלסטין
לוחם חות'י צועד עם דגל פלסטין
Houthi rebels with Palestinian flag
(Photo: EPA)
The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency reported an incident in the northern Red Sea on Tuesday, northeast of Djibouti. The agency said that four suspicious boats approached a naval vessel, each carrying four or five individuals who reportedly were not armed. One of the boats veered parallel to the vessel before moving away from it.
An increasing number of maritime shipping companies announced in recent days that they were temporarily suspending their ships' use of Red Sea trade routes due to the attacks, which the Houthis claim were intended to impose a naval blockade on Israel. In practice, Houthi missiles and drones have targeted ships unrelated to Israel.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced Monday that, in addition to the United States, the international force will include Britain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, the Seychelles and Spain. Some of the countries will conduct joint patrols in the area, while others will provide intelligence-based assistance in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Houthi rebels spokesperson Muhammad Abdul Salam told the Reuters news agency Tuesday that the multinational naval alliance established by the United States in the Red Sea isn’t necessary. He added that shipping routes near Yemen were safe for all ships, except for Israeli ships or vessels making their way to Israel, due to the "unjust aggressive war against Palestine."
3 View gallery
לויד אוסטין
לויד אוסטין
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin
(Photo: Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)
"Yemeni naval operations are designed to support the Palestinian people in coping with the siege and aggression. Just as the United States has allowed itself to support Israel, regional countries can support the Palestinian people," said Abdul Salam.
Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthi politburo,said the establishment of the naval force will not change his group's actions. "Even if the United States succeeds in recruiting the entire world, our operations won’t cease unless the genocide in Gaza stops."
3 View gallery
ספינה שהותקפה ליד תימן בים האדום
ספינה שהותקפה ליד תימן בים האדום
Ship attacked by Houthi forces in the Red Sea
(Photo: via X)
"The Houthis are a terrorist organization in every way and have close ties with the Iranians. They are funded and directed by them. The Iranians have sought to have a united front against us since the start of the war," Former IDF Navy Commander, Maj. Gen. (res.) Eliezer Marom, told Ynet.
"I think it will be very hard for a large national force to prevent this. If the Houthis want to continue – which they do because the Iranians do – there’s only one way to solve this in my opinion, and that is to attack the Houthis directly. It cannot be that Israel will sit idly by. We can give the Americans some time to act, but at some point, there will be no choice but to act against the Houthis; Israel has the ability to act against the Houthis," according to Marom.
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.