The Houthis will attack all ships belonging to Israeli companies. Photo/Reuters
GAZA – Military spokesman for Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis, Yahya Sarea, said the group would target all ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or carrying the Israeli flag.
According to Al Jazeera, Sarea asked all countries to withdraw their citizens who work on ships run by Israeli companies.
That was a confirmation of statements by Yemen’s Houthi leader, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, threatening to target Israeli ships in the Red Sea, when the group said it had launched another missile targeting the country because of its war on Gaza.
Rebel leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said the Iran-backed group was monitoring Israeli ships in commercially important waters, even those that did not have Israeli flags.
“Our eyes are open to continue monitoring and searching for Israeli ships,” he said in a speech broadcast by the rebel-owned Al-Masirah TV station.
“The enemy relies on camouflage in his movements in the Red Sea, especially in the Bab al-Mandab (strait), and does not dare to raise the Israeli flag on his ships… and turns off identification equipment.”
“We will search and verify his vessels, and we will not hesitate to target them, and let everyone know that he is afraid,” he added.
The Bab al-Mandab Strait is a narrow passage between Yemen and Djibouti at the foot of the Red Sea, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, carrying about a fifth of global oil consumption.
The Houthi group, which describes itself as part of an Iran-affiliated “resistance axis”, has launched a series of drone and missile attacks targeting Israel since last month.
This is the first time the Houthi group has been involved in a foreign war, which controls much of Yemen’s impoverished region and has been fighting against a Saudi Arabian-led coalition since 2015.
“Our missiles and drones will continue,” Al-Houthi said.