US rebukes Houthis for ‘reckless and indiscriminate’ attacks in Red Sea

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The US condemned the “reckless and indiscriminate” attacks by Yemen’s Houthis in the Red Sea on Wednesday.

The latest incident by the Iran-backed group came this week when it targeted civilian ships, including a US-owned bulk carrier that was bringing corn and other food supplies to Yemen.

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“The Houthis are behaving like a terrorist organization – attacking civilians, civilian shipping, and innocent mariners, and they continue to detain the crew of the Galaxy Leader, consisting of 25 people from five different countries. This is piracy,” State Department Spokesman Matt Miller said.

Washington has been bombing Houthi targets inside Yemen since January following the group’s continued attacks on commercial, international and military ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking told Al Arabiya English last week that the United States would continue to target Houthi capabilities until they stopped their attacks, which the group says is a response to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

Miller said the Houthi attacks were driving up prices and causing delivery delays in critical humanitarian items, such as food and medicine, in places where it’s needed most.

“This is adversely affecting those in need of assistance around the world, including in Sudan, Ethiopia, and in Yemen itself. Many of the ships that the Houthis have attacked contained food, such as grain and corn, headed for those countries,” he said.

Miller added: “And contrary to what the Houthis may attempt to claim, their attacks do nothing to help the Palestinians. Their actions are not bringing a single morsel of assistance or food to the Palestinian people.”

Washington re-designated the Houthis as a terror group last month after US President Joe Biden made it a priority of his after taking office to revoke the decision made by the Trump administration.

Other countries, including the UK and France, have taken part in strikes against Houthis since January.

“The Houthis are alienating the world community and putting the peace process in Yemen – which parties, including the Houthis, have painstakingly negotiated over the last two years – in jeopardy,” Miller said.

But former US military officials and analysts believe the anti-Houthi campaign could drag on for weeks, if not longer.

On Tuesday, the former head of the US Central Command told Al Arabiya English that “this was never going to be an overnight one-and-done kind of an operation.”

Read more: US strikes on Houthis will stop when Red Sea attacks end, senior diplomat says

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