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Yemen's Houthis threaten to attack all Israeli-linked commercial ships in Mediterranean

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | May 04, 2024 01:26 PM

SANA: Yemen's Houthi group has announced the expansion of its ballistic missile attacks to include all Israeli-linked commercial vessels transiting the Mediterranean.

"We will attack all ships heading to or having links with Israel in the Mediterranean Sea as well as in any area within our reach," Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said on Friday in a televised statement while elaborating on the group's fourth phase of military escalation in the region, Xinhua news agency reported.

"The implementation of this decision begins now," he noted.

Moreover, the spokesman warned that if Israel intends to launch an aggressive military operation against Rafah in southern Gaza, the Houthis will target all ships and companies that deal with Israeli ports and prevent "all ships of these companies" from passing through the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, "regardless of their destinations".

"We will not hesitate to persist in military escalation until Israel stops its war and lifts the blockade on the Gaza Strip," Sarea added.

Yemen's protracted civil war erupted in 2014 when the Houthi group seized control over much of the country's north, including the capital Sanaa, and the strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

Since last November, the Houthis began to launch anti-ship ballistic missiles and drones targeting what they said were Israeli-linked ships transiting the Red Sea to show solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza, which has been under relentless Israeli attacks for nearly seven months.

In January, the US and Britain launched a military operation by carrying out airstrikes on Houthi military sites to deter the group.

However, the Houthis, in retaliation, have subsequently expanded their attacks to include US and British ships.

On Thursday, Houthi leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi said in a televised speech that the US-Britain coalition's strikes have not undermined his group's military capabilities and warned of further escalation.


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