Yemen's Huthis warn they will hit back at US if attacked

Sanaa, Yemen - Yemen's Huthis, who have launched missiles and drones at cargo ships in the Red Sea, warned Wednesday that they would strike back if attacked by US forces.

A Yemeni lifts a portrait of Huthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Huthi, who has warned the US against sending further military assets to the region.
A Yemeni lifts a portrait of Huthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Huthi, who has warned the US against sending further military assets to the region.  © MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP

"If the Americans intend to escalate further, get more involved and commit foolishness by targeting our country... we will target them," said Huthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Huthi.

"We will make American battleships, American interests and American navigation a target for our missiles and drones," he said in a speech broadcast on Al-Masirah television.

His comments came after the United States said it was building up a multinational naval task force to protect vessels transiting the Red Sea from Huthi attacks carried out in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

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The US aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has entered the Gulf of Aden, according to a US Navy spokesperson.

The Huthis have launched more than 100 drone and missile attacks, targeting 10 merchant vessels, according to the Pentagon, from the Arabian Peninsula's most impoverished country.

The Huthis say their strikes on passing container ships are in support of Palestinians under Israeli siege since October.

Huthi leader warns other countries against joining the US

In his latest speech, the Huthi leader warned states against joining the new task force, saying it would threaten their interests in the Red Sea.

"When you involve yourselves with the Americans in the service of Israel, you are implicating your people in every sense of the word," he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, a top Huthi official warned that any nation that acts against the Yemeni rebels will have its ships targeted.

"Any country that moves against us will have its ships targeted in the Red Sea," Mohammed Ali al-Huthi said in a televised interview with Iran's Al-Alam television.

Cover photo: MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP

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