USA and others 11 countries, included Germany, the United Kingdom and Japanthey demanded this Wednesday from the Houthis the “immediate” end of their attacks and warned them that they “will assume responsibility for the consequences” if they do not stop them.
“Let our message now be clear: we call for an immediate end to these illegal attacks and the release of illegally detained ships and crews,” they said in a joint statement also signed by Italy, Belgium, Canada, Denmark and New Zealand.
The Houthis have launched several volleys of missiles and drones against southern Israel in the last two and a half months and also against ships flying the flag of the Jewish State or owned by Israeli companies in the Red Sea and the strait Bab al Mandeb.
Their actions have been widely condemned by the Western community, while celebrated by residents of Houthi-controlled areas, who are even calling for further escalation by the Shiite movement in support of Gaza.
“The Houthis will take responsibility for the consequences if they continue to threaten lives, the global economy and the free flow of commerce in the region’s critical sea lanes. “We remain committed to the rules-based international order and are determined to hold evil actors accountable for illegal seizures and attacks,” the 12 countries maintained.
His note stressed that these attacks in the Red Sea are “illegal, unacceptable and deeply destabilizing” and they have “no legal justification.”
“Attacks on vessels, including commercial vessels, using unmanned aerial vehicles, small boats and missiles, including the first use of anti-ship ballistic missiles against such vessels, are a direct threat to the freedom of navigation that serves as the basis of global trade in one of the most decisive sea lanes in the world,” they said.
The statement also supported by Australia, Bahrain and the Netherlands stressed that these attacks “threaten innocent lives around the world and constitute a major international problem that requires collective action.”
Almost 15% of world maritime trade, they recalled, passes through the Red Sea, “including 8% of world grain trade, 12% of world maritime oil trade and 8% of world liquefied natural gas trade.”
On Tuesday, the United States Naval Central Command (CENTCOM) reported that the Yemen’s Houthi Shiite rebels released Monday night two ballistic missiles against the southern Red Sea that hit near several shipswithout causing damage.
“On January 2, around 9:30 p.m. Sanaa time (6:30 p.m. GMT), the Iran-backed Houthis fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles from the areas they control in Yemen toward the southern Red Sea. “Several commercial vessels that were in the area reported the impact of anti-ship ballistic missiles in the surrounding waters, although none have reported damage,” the US Army said on its official X (formerly Twitter) account.
He indicated that these actions “They endangered the lives of dozens of innocent sailors and continue to disrupt the free flow of international trade”, in which it represents the twenty-fourth attack against merchant shipping in the southern Red Sea since November 19, according to the United States.
(With information from EFE)