By: Jake Smith, Daily Caller News Foundation
The Iran-backed Houthis have vowed to continue their attacks against vessels in the Red Sea, despite warnings of opposition from Western forces.
At least 10 shipping companies have suspended operations in the Red Sea region as the Yemeni-based Houthis have launched several attacks on Western vessels since Oct. 7, including in the direction of U.S. military ships. Despite the Biden administration’s pledge on Monday to work with Western allies and combat the Houthis’ aggression, the terror organization said that they have no plans to cease their attacks, according to The Washington Post.
“Our position will not change in the direction of the Palestinian issue, whether a naval alliance is established or not,” Houthi official Mohammed Abdulsalam told Reuters on Monday. “Our position in support of Palestine and the Gaza Strip will remain until the end of the siege, the entry of food and medicine, and our support for the oppressed Palestinian people will remain continuous.”
“The support of the ‘Alliance of Shame’ countries for Israel’s crimes in Gaza is a stain on its history, and will lead to expanding the scope of the conflict and increasing the risks to shipping lines,” Houthi ruling council member Mohammed Albukhaiti said.
Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Monday that the U.S., along with the U.K., Canada and a host of European Union (E.U.) nations, would work to deter future attacks from the Houthi alliance. The Houthis have launched missile and drone attacks in the Red Sea and hijacked shipping vessels in the region in an act of retaliation against Israel, which the Houthis view as their enemy.
“This is an international challenge that demands collective action,” Austin said on Monday. “The recent escalation in reckless Houthi attacks originating from Yemen threatens the free flow of commerce, endangers innocent mariners, and violates international law.”
Several Western allies view the Houthis as a terrorist group, but the Biden administration does not, having removed the group from the Foreign Terrorist Organization in 2021. The administration cited concerns over the humanitarian impact the designation would have on Yemen.
The Department of Defense and State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.