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U.S. and 11 countries threaten Houthis with responsibility after attacks in Red Sea

U.S. and 11 countries threaten Houthis with responsibility after attacks in Red Sea Photo: The U.S. and 11 other countries threaten the Houthis with responsibility after attacks in the Red Sea (Getty Images)

The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and eight other countries have issued a warning to the Houthi rebels in Yemen against attacking ships in the Red Sea, reports the White House.

The joint statement includes the United States, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

The countries in the statement emphasized that Houthi attacks in the Red Sea are illegal, unacceptable, and profoundly destabilizing. They expressed concern about attacks on ships, including commercial vessels, using drones, small boats, and missiles, including the first use of anti-ship ballistic missiles against such vessels. The attacks are seen as a direct threat to the freedom of navigation on one of the world's most important waterways.

The nations stated that these attacks endanger the lives of innocent people and pose a serious problem that requires collective action. The issue is international, as almost 15% of global maritime trade, including 8% of global grain trade, 12% of oil maritime trade, and 8% of global liquefied natural gas trade, passes through the Red Sea.

"Let our message now be clear: we call for the immediate end of these illegal attacks and release of unlawfully detained vessels and crews. The Houthis will bear the responsibility of the consequences should they continue to threaten lives, the global economy, and free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways. We remain committed to the international rules-based order and are determined to hold malign actors accountable for unlawful seizures and attacks," the joint statement said.

Houthi attacks on civilian Ships: Background

Since November, Houthi rebels in Yemen have continued attacks on civilian ships in the Red Sea, which have ties to Israel. This occurs against the backdrop of Israel's war with Hamas, supported by Yemeni militants.

On December 12, it was reported that a Houthi missile struck the commercial tanker Strinda, causing a fire and significant damage.

A few days ago, the United Kingdom announced its readiness to strike the Houthi rebels if such attacks persist.