Official Says Houthis Have No Intention Of Expanding Red Sea Attacks


The Houthis have said that they do not intend to expand their attacks on shipping in and around the Red Sea, beyond their stated aims of blockading Israel and retaliating against the U.S and Britain for airstrikes.

In an interview, Spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam, who is also the chief Houthi negotiator in peace talks over Yemen’s decade-old civil war, said that the group had no plans to target its longstanding foes; Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“We do not want the escalation to expand. This is not our demand. We imposed rules of engagement in which not a single drop of blood was shed or major material losses,” Abdulsalam voiced.

He added, “It represented pressure on Israel only, it did not represent pressure on any country in the world.”

The Iran-aligned Houthis, who control most of Yemen’s populated areas, have attacked ships at the mouth of the Red Sea since October, in what they say is a show of solidarity with Palestinians by targeting vessels linked to Israel.

“What the Yemeni people did in the beginning was to target Israeli ships heading to Israel without causing any human or even significant material losses, just preventing ships from passing as a natural right,” Abdulsalam noted.

He added, “Now, when America joined in and escalated the situation further, there is no doubt that Yemen will respond.”

The Houthi attacks have forced international shipping companies to route trade between Europe and Asia around Africa, adding time and costs.

The U.S and Britain bombed Houthi targets last week in what they called an intervention to keep one of the world’s busiest shipping routes open.

“We do not want the conflict to expand in the region and we do not prefer that, and we are still working on non-escalation, but the decision is up to the Americans, as long as they continue to attack. Yemen is concerned with responding, and is interested in verifying or maintaining its position by preventing Israeli ships from heading to the occupied Palestinian territories.”

Mohammed Abdulsalam
UK Defence Secretary Says Cyprus Is Free Houthis
In other developments, UK Defense Secretary, Grant Shapps sought to ease concerns over Cyprus’ security following operations from the Akrotiri base targeting the Houthis.

Speaking after a meeting with the President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulides, and Defence Minister Vasilis Palmas at the Presidential Palace, Shapps reassured that the weapons used by the Houthis do not present an immediate threat to Cyprus, saying that they cannot even reach Israel.

“We are committed to doing everything within our means to ensure the security of Cyprus, an objective that serves the interests of all. We acknowledge the challenges in your neighbourhood and aim to contribute to making the situation more manageable,” Shapps stated.

Addressing the issue of humanitarian aid to Gaza, Shapps commended President Christodoulides’ “Amalthea” initiative and mentioned ongoing considerations for delivering humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza more expeditiously.

He suggested an alternative approach, proposing the direct dispatch of aid to Israel instead of routing it through Egypt, and even exploring the possibility of using the Kerem Shalom crossing.


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