British Defense Minister Says UK Ready to Take ‘Direct Action’ Against the Houthis

A report says the US and UK are planning to bomb Yemen

British Defense Minister Grant Shapps has said the UK is willing to take “direct action” against Yemen’s Houthis over attacks on Israel-linked commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

Writing in The Telegraph, Shapps pointed to a recent incident where a British warship shot down a Houthi drone. He said the interception was “the first time that our Navy had shot down an aerial target in anger in more than 30 years.”

Shapps said the British warship demonstrated that “we are willing to take direct action, and we won’t hesitate to take further action to deter threats to freedom of navigation in the Red Sea.”

His comments came after the US sank three Houthi boats, killing 10 people the US military said were attacking a container ship. The incident marked a significant escalation as they were the first deaths in the Red Sea since the Houthis started targeting Israeli-linked commercial shipping in response to Israel’s Gaza onslaught.

Shapps noted that the UK joined the US-led coalition in the Red Sea, known as Operation Prosperity Guardian, an initiative many countries, including close US allies, are reluctant to participate since the initiative was launched to back up the Israeli massacre in Gaza.

“An international force is collecting in the region. Britain has joined the United States and others in Operation Prosperity Guardian to ensure the freedom of navigation in the region,” Shapps wrote.

The Times of London reported Sunday that the UK, the US, and possibly a third country were preparing to launch airstrikes against the Houthis, either at sea or in Houthi-controlled Yemen, where 70-80% of the country’s population lives. Bombing Yemen would risk shattering the fragile peace in Yemen that’s been reached between the Houthis and the US-backed Saudi-led coalition.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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