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Yemeni leader declares ‘real victory’ in stopping Israel-bound ships

Yemen’s Ansarullah leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi says the country has achieved a “real victory” by stepping up operations in the Red Sea and hindering the movement of ships connected to Israel.

Yemen says its armed forces are acting in solidarity with the Palestinians as Israel wages war on Gaza, forcing many commercial ships bound for Israeli ports to divert vessels from the vital shipping route.

“The movement of ships linked to Israel has become almost non-existent. For the Israeli enemy’s ships, their movement has completely stopped from the Bab al-Mandab strait to the Red Sea, and this is a real achievement and a real victory,” al-Houthi said in a televised speech.

The United States and Britain in December announced a military coalition to target Yemen in support of Israel. But most allies, notably European countries, have raised reservations about the plan, which has seen the US and Britain launch airstrikes on Yemen, and baulked at the idea of being under Washington’s command.

On Wednesday, British media reports revealed that the country’s Royal Navy had been forced to pull HMS Diamond out of the Red Sea after coming under three bouts of attacks by ballistic missiles fired from Yemen.

The reports did not specify the reasons for the summon, only stating that HMS Richmond had “temporarily” taken over in the Red Sea. They said HMS Diamond would be rearmed before heading back into action in the Red Sea.

But footage released by Yemeni media purportedly shows a missile apparently hitting HMS Diamond in the Red Sea, without specifying when the strike took place.

A British-owned cargo vessel was attacked in the Red Sea shortly after midnight on Tuesday, the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said.

“England and America have suffered huge losses due to Yemen’s attacks and therefore have entered this war” of the Israeli regime on Gaza, al-Houthi said on Thursday night.

“For the first time since World War II, America is witnessing an attack on its warships.”

Al-Houthi assured that by coordinating more with Yemen, all other countries can continue their passage of vessels through the Red Sea, urging them “not to listen to America’s negative propaganda” about shipping security in the region.

He said the US and British coalition has rushed to help the Israeli regime in its crimes against Gaza by carrying out attacks on Yemen.

Al-Houthi said the US claim of attacking Yemen under the moniker of “supporting freedom of navigation” in the Red Sea is a false excuse.

“American and British spy drones pave the way for the killing of Palestinian refugees by the Zionist regime and play an essential role in its preparation for attack on Rafah.”

Al-Houthi pledged that “as long as Palestinian blood is spilled, widows’ tears flow, and orphans cry, we will never empty the battlefield”.

“We will continue our launch of ballistic and guided missiles and drones, and expand our mobilization and preparation activities,” he added.

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