Houthi Leader Vows to Expand Attacks on Israel-Linked Shipping in Indian Ocean

The US bombing campaign against the Houthis has done nothing to deter the Yemeni group's attacks

Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi vowed on Thursday that the Yemeni group would expand its targeting of Israel-linked commercial shipping to hit vessels in the Indian Ocean that are trying to get around the Red Sea.

“Our main battle is to prevent ships linked to the Israeli enemy from passing through not only the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, but also the Indian Ocean towards the Cape of Good Hope. This is a major step and we have begun to implement our operations related to it,” al-Houthi said.

The new US bombing campaign against the Houthis has only escalated the situation as the Yemeni group, officially known as Ansar Allah, began targeting American and British commercial shipping in response. US officials have acknowledged they don’t know how much damage has been done to Houthi capability. Despite the lack of success, the US continues to bomb Yemen, with 11 US-British airstrikes reported in Yemen’s Hodeidah province on Thursday.

Al-Houthi said US military action “will not be able to stop us from supporting Gaza” and vowed Houthi attacks on commercial shipping would only stop once the Israeli onslaught in Gaza comes to an end.

“Our naval operations continue as long as the aggression against Gaza persists,” al-Houthi said. “American and British obstinacy have one outcome, which is the widening of the conflict and war at the regional level.”

Al-Houthi also said that 34 Houthis have been killed since Ansar Allah began targeting Israel-linked commercial shipping in response to the slaughter in Gaza. According to the Yemen Data Project, at least one civilian was killed, and 10 have been wounded by US and British airstrikes.

The US has a long history of killing civilians in Yemen in its drone wars and by backing a brutal Saudi-UAE war against the Houthis from 2015-2022. The war and blockade on Yemen killed at least 377,000 people, and more than half died of starvation and disease caused by the siege.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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