New Delhi, Dec. 21: A leader of Yemen’s Houthis, Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, yesterday warned that the group will strike US warships and interests if Washington targets Yemen, reports Middle East Monitor.
“We will not stand idly by if the Americans are tempted to escalate further and commit foolishness by targeting our country or waging war against it,” he said.
According to the MEM report, this came after US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced on Monday the formation of a multinational force with the aim of “deterring” the Houthi group’s attacks in the Red Sea and its “threat to maritime trade”.
The Houthi group targets ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or transporting goods to and from Israel as they pass through the Bab Al-Mandab Strait “in solidarity with the Gaza Strip,” which has been subjected to continuous Israeli aggression since 7 October.
In his address yesterday, Al-Houthi said the American move in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandab and the Gulf of Aden does not protect international navigation, but rather harms it.
“Any American targeting of our country will be targeted by us, and we will make American battleships, interests and navigation a target for our missiles, drones and military operations,” he added.
The Houthis have controlled the city of Hudaydah in western Yemen, overlooking the Red Sea, since 2014. Since Israel launched its aggression against the besieged Gaza Strip in October, the group has been attacking Israel-bound commercial ships.
“The greatest danger threatening international navigation and the movement of commercial ships is the American move that seeks to militarise the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandab and the Gulf of Aden, and seeks to turn the sea into a battlefield,” he added.
The Houthi leader stressed that the group’s operations in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandab, the Arabian Gulf, and the Sea of Aden exclusively target ships linked to Israel, and do not target any other ships or harm international navigation.
He advised all countries not to involve themselves, nor sacrifice their interests, in the service of the Israeli enemy.
Earlier on Tuesday, a leader of the Yemeni Houthi group and a member of the group’s Supreme Political Council, Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi, told Iran’s Al-Alam TV that any country that moves against Yemen will have its ships targeted in the Red Sea.