© Reuters. Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi addresses followers via a video link at the al-Shaab Mosque, formerly al-Saleh Mosque, in Sanaa, Yemen February 6, 2024. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
DUBAI (Reuters) – The leader of Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis said on Tuesday that the group will further escalate if the Israeli attack on Gaza does not stop.
The Houthis, who control Yemen’s capital and most populous areas, have attacked international shipping in the Red Sea since November in what they say is solidarity with Palestinians, drawing U.S. and British retaliatory strikes since last month.
The attacks are disrupting maritime trade in one of the world’s busiest corridors as freight firms reroute around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the Suez Canal.
In a televised speech, Abdul Malik al-Houthi said the group will “seek to escalate more and more if the barbaric and brutal aggression against Gaza does not stop, along with the siege of the Palestinian people from whom they deny aid and medicine.”
The group fired naval missiles at two ships in the Red Sea on Tuesday, its military spokesman said, causing damage to Greek-owned Star Nasia and British-owned Morning Tide.
Spokesman Yahya Sarea identified the Greek-owned, Marshall Islands flagged Star Nasia as American. The vessel was carrying U.S. coal to India, marine shipping trackers showed.