Houthis Vow Retaliation Against US and UK

Rockets silhouettes background Iran flag. Toned

(RightWing.org) – Yemen’s Houthi rebel group has threatened to retaliate against the US and Britain. The Iran-backed terrorists say they’ll continue attacking commercial shipping despite allied strikes against their missile launchers and radar systems.

Houthis Menace Global Trade

The Houthis have been attacking commercial shipping in the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and Gulf of Aden for at least six years, but they’ve stepped up the rate of attacks since Hamas attacked Israel last October. Since November they’ve attacked almost 30 ships with a combination of missiles, drones, and radio-controlled boats.

US and British warships have shot down dozens of Houthi weapons, and on January 11 allied ships and aircraft went after the Houthis’ weapon systems on shore. That wasn’t enough to persuade the rebels to stop their attacks, so more strikes have followed. The Houthis are still defiant, though.

After another round of air and missile strikes over the weekend, on February 4 Houthi spokesman Mohammed al-Bukhaiti posted a statement on X (formerly Twitter). He claimed the group will continue disrupting commerce whatever it costs them, labeling the attacks against shipping as “military operations against Israel” (in fact the only military targets attacked have been US and British warships, and attacks on civilian shipping have been indiscriminate).

He added that “The American-British aggression against Yemen” (the Houthis are the ones aggressing against Yemen; they’re rebelling against the country’s legitimate government) would draw a response, and threatened to “meet escalation with escalation.”

Iran Is Pulling the Strings

Whatever al-Bukhaiti says about Israel, the reality is that the Houthis are doing what Iran wants. The group is supported by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) — as is Hamas, which carried out the October 7 atrocities against Israel. While it seems Iran wasn’t behind that attack, the ayatollahs still don’t want their proxy wiped out by Israel’s retaliation.

The Houthi attacks aren’t doing Israel any harm, but disruptions to shipping could increase Western weariness with the war in Gaza. Hezbollah, another Iran-backed group, is also escalating confrontations on Israel’s northern border. Tehran seems to be trying to cause enough trouble that the US will pressure Israel into calling a ceasefire.

However, Iran could have miscalculated badly. Some of its proxies in Iraq and Syria have been launching drone attacks at US bases in the region. On January 28, three US Army troops were killed, and 34 more injured, when a suicide drone exploded inside an outpost in Jordan. On February 2, US forces carried out air and missile strikes on 85 targets belonging to Iranian-backed militias, killing at least 18 terrorists.

So far the Biden administration has ruled out hitting Iran itself –- but the Houthis have no such guarantee, and if they step up their attacks they could face a powerful response from the US.

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