Yemen Threatens to Escalate Attacks on Israeli Ships in Red Sea

Yemen's Armed Forces, led by Brigadier General Yahya Saree, launched missile strikes on commercial ships in the Red Sea, threatening to intensify attacks on Israeli vessels if Israel continues its war in Gaza. The attacks damaged several ships, prompting the US military to condemn the actions as a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Yemen Threatens to Escalate Attacks on Israeli Ships in Red Sea

Yemen Threatens to Escalate Attacks on Israeli Ships in Red Sea

Yemen's Armed Forces, led by Brigadier General Yahya Saree, have threatened to intensify attacks on Israeli vessels in the Red Sea if Israel continues its war in Gaza, which has killed over 35,000 Palestinians. The threat comes as Houthi rebels in Yemen launched a series of missile strikes on commercial ships in the area on Sunday.

Why this matters: The escalation of attacks in the Red Sea has significant implications for global trade and maritime security, as it threatens to disrupt vital shipping lanes. Moreover, the conflict's expansion into the region could draw in more countries, leading to a wider and more devastating conflict.

In the attacks, the Bahamas-flagged bulk carrier Unity Explorer was hit by a missile, and the USS Carney, a US warship, shot down three drones in self-defense. Two other commercial ships, the Panamanian-flagged bulk carriers Number 9 and Sophie II, were also struck by missiles. The Unity Explorer and Number 9 reported minor damage, while the Sophie II reported no significant damage.

Brigadier General Yahya Saree claimed responsibility for the attacks, warning that "Gaza is a red line for us, a red line. Our causes, holy sites, and our Islam are red lines, and we will not compromise on them." He stated that the Yemeni armed forces will continue to prevent Israeli ships from navigating the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden until the Israeli aggression against Gaza stops.

The US military condemned the attacks, saying they represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security. They believe the attacks, while launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran. The Houthis have carried out an estimated 112 attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea since November, leading to a dramatic fall in maritime trade and a surge in insurance costs.

Yemen's escalation in the Red Sea comes as the Israel-Hamas war threatens to become a wider regional conflict. The Houthis have launched a series of attacks on vessels in the area, as well as drones and missiles targeting Israel. Russia's UN representative Vasily Nebenzya criticized Western coalition strikes on Yemen as violating the UN Charter, while Germany withdrew a warship from an EU mission in the Red Sea amid the Houthis' maritime campaign.

The attacks mark a significant escalation in Yemen's support for Palestine and its confrontation with Israel and the West. With the Houthis vowing to continue and expand their campaign, the risk of the Gaza conflict spreading further into the region grows. As Brigadier General Saree warned, "We target things that the enemy hasn't thought of and can't imagine, things that neither the Yemeni people nor the people of the [Arab and Islamic] nation can imagine." US and Saudi Arabia are attempting to revive a peace deal with the Houthis to prevent further escalation.

Key Takeaways

  • Yemen's Armed Forces threaten to intensify attacks on Israeli vessels in the Red Sea if Israel continues its war in Gaza.
  • Houthi rebels launched missile strikes on commercial ships, including the Unity Explorer and Number 9, in the Red Sea.
  • The attacks have significant implications for global trade and maritime security, threatening to disrupt vital shipping lanes.
  • The US military condemned the attacks, blaming Iran for enabling the Houthis, and warned of a direct threat to international commerce.
  • Yemen's escalation in the Red Sea risks spreading the Gaza conflict further into the region, with the Houthis vowing to continue and expand their campaign.