US discuss military action against Yemen Houthis with Gulf states as Red Sea attacks increase
Officials told Bloomberg that the talks, which are at a preliminary stage, show the US takes the issue of attacks on shipping seriously, although both the US and its allies still favour diplomacy at this stage.
The officials did not say which Gulf allies were in discussion with the US over the issue.
The reports follow statements issued by Deputy US National Security Adviser Jon Finer, who said that the US had "not ruled out the possibility of taking military action" against the Houthis.
US Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking told Bloomberg that he was in the region "to continue intensive US diplomacy and regional coordination to safeguard maritime security in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden."
He added that the Houthis were now threatening "two years" of negotiations aimed at ending the war in Yemen.
Yemen's Houthi movement, known officially as the Ansar Allah, has been increasing its attacks against Israel and Israeli-linked shipping in the Red Sea, launching ballistic missiles against Israel and drone attacks against cargo vessels, many of which US Destroyer USS Carney has intercepted.
The Houthis also seized an Israeli-linked cargo vessel, with commandos boarding the cargo ship via helicopters. Houthi boats later escorted the ship back to Yemen and is now believed to be anchored in the port of Hodeida.
Israeli ships have been forced to reroute as a result, with insurance for shipping in the region increasing over the threats of attacks.
According to Politico, an increasing number of US military officials have called for the US to strike the Houthis in a bid to deter further attacks against Israel and shipping.
Likewise, it said that US officials had been discussing forming an international maritime task force to protect shipping against further attacks.
Attacks by Iranian-backed groups against US targets have been increasing since the end of a week-long ceasefire between Hamas and Israel in Gaza.
This includes in Iraq, where Iran-backed militias, known as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, have continued to target US bases and, for the first time since the start of the Gaza War, attacked the US embassy in Baghdad.