Coordinated military action by the UK, US, and potentially another European country is reportedly set to target the Houthi rebels.
The United Kingdom is reportedly gearing up to launch air strikes against Yemen’s Houthi rebels in response to the group’s escalating attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.
The potential military action, according to a media report, will see the UK aligning with the United States and possibly another European nation.
An “unprecedented statement” is expected to be released by the UK and US, warning the Houthis to cease their attacks on commercial vessels or face the formidable military strength of the West.
British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps highlighted a 500% increase in Houthi attacks on international shipping, condemning these acts as detrimental to world trade and freedom of navigation.
The Iran-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen have announced at the start of Israel’s brutal war on Gaza that they will be targeting vessels bound for Israel in the southern Red Sea.
Through these actions, the Houthis say they are supporting Palestinians in Gaza amid Israel’s relentless military campaign.
Yemen’s Houthis reported losing at least ten fighters and three vessels in a recent encounter with US forces in the Red Sea.
The US military acknowledged engaging with Houthi vessels in the Red Sea, defending a Singapore-flagged vessel, Maersk Hangzhou, from Houthi aggression. Helicopters from USS Eisenhower and USS Gravely responded to the vessel’s distress call, resulting in the sinking of three Houthi boats.
Maersk, the global shipping giant, temporarily suspended its operations in the Red Sea. The Houthis have vowed to persist in their strikes against vessels linked to Israel until the cessation of Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Last month, the US announced the formation of a global naval task force to protect shipping in these contentious waters, which are vital for global trade.
However, the UK remains the only country to have directly contributed warships to this coalition, with the US largely acting alone against the Houthis.
The turmoil in the Red Sea coincides with a growing sense of resentment across the Middle East over the destruction in Gaza, where Israeli military strikes have claimed the lives of at least 21,822 Palestinians in less than three months, with around 70% of the causalities being women and children.