Yemen’s Houthi rebels issued a new warning to the United States on Friday, cautioning against any military escalation and pledging to continue attacks on “Israel-related” commercial ships in the Red Sea.
Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea, in a statement broadcast on the rebel-run al-Masirah TV, affirmed the group’s commitment to counter “any potential aggression on Yemen.”
Sarea also sent a warning to nations considering participation in the U.S.-led coalition aimed at protecting the ships.
In recent weeks, the rebel group has targeted “Israel-related” cargo vessels in the southern Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, citing solidarity with Palestinians amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
On Nov. 19, the Houthis hijacked a cargo ship, the Galaxy Leader, in the Red Sea and took it and its crew to Hodeidah port.
The Houthis said they would stop attacks on ships if food and medicine aid were allowed into the Gaza Strip.
Last week, the U.S. announced a multinational maritime coalition to secure the ships passing through the Red Sea after a series of Houthi attacks.
The rebels control much of northern Yemen, including the strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, since they ousted the Yemeni government from the capital Sanaa.