US Tells Israel Not to Strike the Houthis in Yemen

US officials tell POLITICO the Biden administration is not planning to directly target the Houthis, at least for now

The Biden administration has asked Israel not to respond to recent attacks by Yemen’s Houthis, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The Houthis, formally known as Ansar Allah, have fired missiles and drones at Israel in response to the Israeli onslaught in Gaza and have targeted Israeli-linked commercial ships in the Red Sea. US warships have responded to the Houthi attacks and have downed several Houthi missiles and drones in recent weeks.

According to the Journal, the US is concerned an Israeli response could spark a major regional war. US officials told Israel that the US would handle any potential response, although POLITICO reported that the administration is not planning on directly targeting the Houthis, at least for now.

The POLITICO report said the Pentagon has drawn up plans to strike the Houthis, but they have not been presented or recommended to President Biden. The report said there is a “high-level consensus within the administration that it does not make sense for the US military to respond directly to the Houthis.”

Saudi Arabia has also urged the US not to strike the Houthis over concerns that such an attack could jeopardize the Saudi-Houthi peace process. A ceasefire between the Saudis and the Houthis has held relatively well since April 2022, but a lasting peace deal has not yet been signed.

The US announced sanctions targeting the Houthis on Thursday that target 13 people and firms allegedly involved in the sale and shipment of Iranian commodities. The Treasury Department claims the network has transferred tens of millions of dollars worth of foreign currency to the Houthis.

The US has backed a Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis since 2015 in a brutal war that has killed at least 377,000 people. But it’s rare that the US and the Houthis directly exchange fire.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.