Britain threatens to take military action against Yemen’s Houthis
UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has said that Britain is considering taking "direct" action against Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels following their attack on a Danish merchant ship in the Red Sea.
This new British stance comes after the US Central Command's announcement that its forces sank three Houthi boats that had attacked the Red Sea ship, killing at least 10 fighters.
The Houthis have threatened to target ships linked to or heading towards Israel in the Red Sea, saying they will not cease until the Western-backed Israeli war on Gaza ends.
in The Telegraph, Shapps said that the UK "won't hesitate to take further action to deter threats to freedom of navigation in the Red Sea."
"The Houthis should be under no illusion: we are committed to holding malign actors accountable for unlawful seizures and attacks," he added.
Reports indicate that the UK and the US are preparing to release a joint statement threatening the Yemeni group.
On Sunday, the UK's Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, mentioned on X that he had spoken to Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
"I spoke to [Amir-Abdollahian] today about the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, which threaten innocent lives and the global economy,” he stated. “I made it clear that Iran shares responsibility for preventing these attacks, given their longstanding support for the Houthis."
I spoke to @Amirabdolahian today about Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, which threaten innocent lives and the global economy. I made clear that Iran shares responsibility for preventing these attacks given their long-standing support to the Houthis.— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) December 31, 2023
A UK government spokesperson also commented, "The situation in the Red Sea is incredibly serious, and the Houthi attacks are unacceptable and destabilizing. As expected, while planning is underway for various scenarios, no decisions have yet been made, and we continue to pursue all diplomatic routes."
According to the US Central Command, the three boats attacked the Maersk ship with small arms from a distance of 20 meters, and the ship’s security team returned fire.
The top commander of US naval forces in the Middle East expressed on Saturday that Houthi attacks seem unrelenting, even as more countries join the mission to curb the group’s activities.