Report: Yemen’s Houthis Restarted Attacks After Examining US ‘Incentives’

In early April, the US said it would attempt diplomacy with the Houthis as the bombing campaign has failed

Yemen’s Houthis restarted attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden last week after examining “incentives” put forward by the US, according to a report from The National, a UAE state-owned newspaper.

At the beginning of April, Tim Lenderking, the US special envoy for Yemen, said the US was considering “diplomacy” with the Houthis after a months-long bombing campaign failed to deter the Yemeni group and only escalated the situation.

Sources told The National that the US offered a lifting of the blockade on the capital, Sanaa, and the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, which has been imposed since a US-backed Saudi-UAE coalition intervened in Yemen in an attempt to oust the Houthis in 2015.

The report said the US also offered to “hasten” Yemen peace talks. New US sanctions imposed on the Houthis are blocking the implementation of a Saudi-Houthi peace deal that would lift the blockade.

The Cradle previously reported that the US also offered an acknowledgment of the Houthis’ “legitimacy” and would allow the release of funds to pay Yemeni public sector employees, another aspect of the peace deal that’s being blocked by US sanctions.

But the Houthis, officially known as Ansar Allah, have rejected the US “incentives” and are sticking to their position that the Red Sea operations won’t stop until the Israeli siege on Gaza comes to an end. Lenderking has acknowledged that he thinks the Houthis would be true to their word, but the US still refuses to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

“The Houthis have received many incentives since the start of operations in the Red Sea. But they are concluding that what’s being offered isn’t enough to stop,” a Yemeni political source told The National. “They are seeing these offers as blackmail in the humanitarian file because the issue of opening the airport or port or bringing in necessary needs is a right of the Yemenis and should not be used as a pressure card on Sanaa.”

A source close to the Houthis said that “no understanding has been reached between the United States and the Ansar Allah movement about stopping military operations by the Yemenis in the Red Sea or the Gulf of Aden.” The Houthis restarted attacks last week after about a two-week lull.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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