Yemen’s Houthis Escalate Threats Against Ships Supplying Goods To Israel

Abdul Malik al-Houthi, the leader of Yemen’s Houthis, has declared that the group will target any ship related to the transport of goods to Israel, regardless of their destination. This announcement comes as part of the Houthis’ fourth stage of escalation in retaliation to what they call “the Israeli aggression on Rafah” in the southern Gaza Strip.

Al-Houthi stressed that the group’s actions are not conditional on whether the ships are heading to Israeli ports loaded with goods for the “Israeli enemy” at that moment. He said, “As long as that company sends ships to ports in occupied Palestine for the benefit of the Israeli enemy, these measures will be taken against it anywhere our hands reach, whether it is carrying goods for the Israeli enemy at that moment or not, we will target it.”

The Houthi leader also hinted at the possibility of a fifth and sixth stage of retaliation, stating, “From now on, we are also thinking about the fifth stage and the sixth stage, and we have very important, sensitive and influential choices on the enemies.”

Months of Houthi attacks in the Red Sea have disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to re-route to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa. The attacks have also stoked fears that the Israel-Hamas war could spread and destabilize the wider Middle East.

The United States and Britain have carried out strikes against Houthi targets in response to the attacks on shipping.