Yemen's Houthi leader renews threats to attack US, UK ships

9:21 03.03.2024 •

Yemen's Houthi leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi said in a televised speech on Thursday that his armed group would continue attacking and sinking US and British ships in the Red Sea.

"I promise more military surprises and unexpected attacks in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Arabian Sea," the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV channel quoted him as saying. "The US, British enemies' airstrikes against the capital Sanaa will not affect us, nor our military capabilities."

He added that his armed group had attacked 54 commercial cargo vessels, using a total of 384 missiles and drones since November last year.

The US-British coalition has launched dozens of airstrikes against Houthi targets in an effort to deter the group. However, the Houthis have escalated their strikes by targeting more commercial vessels as well as US and British navy ships.

The Houthi group has maintained control over significant portions of northern Yemen since the onset of the Yemeni civil war in late 2014.

In this satellite image provided by Planet Labs, the Belize-flagged bulk carrier Rubymar is seen in the southern Red Sea near the Bay el-Mandeb Strait leaking oil after an attack by Yemen's Houthi group on Feb 20, 2024.
Photo: AP

The Yemeni government announced Monday that it is scrambling to avert an environmental disaster in the Red Sea after the Houthi group attacked a cargo ship last week and caused it to take on water and leak oil.

Speaking at a press conference in Aden, Yemeni Minister of Water and Environment Tawfiq Al-Sharjabi warned that "the situation is deeply worrying, and authorities are taking every measure to deal with possible disasters as the 171-meter bulk carrier ship, identified as 'the Rubymar,' began leaking oil."

Al-Sharjabi said the British-owned, Belize-flagged bulk carrier was carrying thousands of tons of fertilizer and oil when it was damaged by two guided missiles launched by the Houthis on Feb 18 while sailing through the Red Sea.

Its crew had been safely evacuated to Djibouti. However, the stricken vessel remains adrift with its dangerous cargo.

"We are racing against time to avoid an imminent environmental catastrophe in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden," he said.

The Houthis claimed they believed the ship was carrying weapons bound for Israel.

The Houthis have stepped up their attacks on international shipping since mid-November last year, saying they were in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza who faced intense Israeli attacks.

The US-British forces since January have responded with dozens of airstrikes on Houthi targets, including mobile missile launchers and underwater drones, but have failed to deter the group from launching more attacks.


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