US Special Envoy Lenderking in an interview with Reuters in Amman on April 2, 2022. (REUTERS/Jehad Shelbak/File Photo)

US moves to mobilize international response to the Houthis


Tue, 05-12-2023 01:37 PM, Aden

Aden (South24) 

The United States (US) announced yesterday that its Special Envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, will arrive in the Arabian Gulf region this week to discuss regional coordination to protect maritime security in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The US State Department said in a statement: “The Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking is traveling to the Gulf this week to continue intensive U.S. diplomacy and regional coordination to safeguard maritime security in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden in the midst of Iranian and Houthi attacks on international shipping".

The US statement said that these attacks "threatens almost two years of joint progress to end the war in Yemen."

“The United States is working with key maritime partners to secure safe passage for global shipping.  Special Envoy Lenderking is working with the United Nations, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and other international partners to support a resolution to the Yemen conflict as soon as possible," the statement added.

“Lenderking will meet with regional, international, and UN partners in the Gulf to discuss the necessary steps to secure a durable ceasefire and launch an inclusive, UN-led Yemeni-Yemeni political dialogue, while continuing efforts to ease the economic and humanitarian crises,” the statement added.

The statement indicated that Lenderking "will stress the need to contain the conflict between Israel and Hamas while following up on the US priority for the Yemeni-Yemeni political dialogue to end the war".

The statement stressed that "a wider conflict in the Middle East does not serve U.S. interests nor those of our regional partners, who support a lasting peace in Yemen."

Yesterday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the US may establish a naval task force to escort commercial ships in the Red Sea, one day after several Houthi attacks targeted commercial ships in the Red Sea near the Bab al-Mandab Strait.

Although the US destroyer USS CARNEY confronted two Houthi drones that were heading towards it, Sullivan said that the US was evaluating whether this was a direct attack on the destroyer, which confronted Houthi missiles and responded to the call of commercial ships.

Sullivan said that the United States is holding active talks with allies about forming “a maritime task force of sorts”, explaining that nothing has been done so far in this regard.

Politico newspaper said, "US officials are frustrated by Biden administration’s response to attacks in Red Sea."

The newspaper quoted US officials as saying, “The Biden administration was downplaying the seriousness of the situation in the Red Sea in order to avoid escalating tensions in a region that’s already on edge over the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.”

“If we make the assessment or feel the need to respond, we will always make that decision at a time or place of our choosing. That is a decision that the [defense secretary] will also make in conjunction with the president,” a second Pentagon official said, according to Politico.

Marc Polymeropoulos, a former CIA official, called for strikes on the Houthis. He posted on "X": “Near to immediate term, where are the strikes on Houthi targets? Need to see this ASAP.”

On February 16, 2021, the Biden administration removed the Houthis group from the US terrorist list after the previous Trump administration classified it as a “foreign terrorist organization” on January 10 of that year.

Last November 20, an analysis published by the 'South24 Center' by the American expert Dr. Andrew Korybko, it said that Saudi Arabia might be forced to respond and an international maritime coalition might soon assemble for protecting this economically vital waterway.

Related: What Did the Houthis Aim to Achieve by Hijacking an Allegedly Israeli-Linked Ship?

An analysis published by the 'South24 Center' on November 21 by expert Dr. Marta Furlan said that the US should re-list the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization as part of the response to the naval attacks. The analysis indicated the possibility of direct military intervention if Houthi attacks caused the death or injury of US soldiers.

South24 Center

YemenYemeni conflictRed SeaUSHouthisSaudi ArabiaIranIsraelGazaLenderkingUS EnvoyGulf