Houthi militia military spokesman, Yahya Saree, Sanaa, May 3, 2024 (Screenshot: South24 Center)

Houthis announce launch of ‘fourth phase’ of attacks against ships in Red Sea


Fri, 03-05-2024 07:23 PM, Aden

Sanaa (South24 Center)

A day after the Houthi leader, Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, vowed to continue the conflict with Israel even if the war in Gaza stops, the Iran-backed Houthis on Friday announced the beginning of the “fourth stage of escalation” against ships linked to Israel and America traversing anywhere near the Red Sea region. 

In a statement, the Houthis said that in keeping with the "instructions” of the Houthi Leader, they were beginning the “implementation of the fourth stage of escalation” with immediate effect.

This includes the targeting of all ships linked to Israel that would fall “in any reachable area within our ample zone” – meaning within the reach of their ballistic missiles and drones. The group's military spokesman mentioned the ships entering Israel from the Mediterranean Sea.

They also warned that if Israel “intends to launch an aggressive military operation against Rafah” then the Houthi militia “will impose comprehensive sanctions on all ships and companies” that are linked with providing supplies to the occupied Palestinian ports irrespective of any nation the ship belongs to. In addition, they will prevent all ships of these companies from passing through their operations zone regardless of their destination, the statement said.

The Houthi militia also warned that they “will not hesitate to prepare for broader and stronger stages of escalation until the aggression is stopped and the siege on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is lifted”.

Today’s developments come a day after Houthi Leader Abdulmalik Al-Houthi vowed to launch a fourth phase of escalation.

Al-Houthi said on Thursday: “If the round of negotiations in Gaza succeeds, and the situation calms down, that does not mean the end of the battle and conflict with the enemy, but rather it means the completion of a round of escalation, and when we reach the end of this round with the Israeli enemy, the conflict with the Israeli enemy will continue.”

He pointed out that “the conflict with the Israeli enemy will not end unless it is removed from all of the land of Palestine and cleansing it.”

He also pointed out that “the completion of negotiation rounds or the obtaining of certain truces does not mean the end of the conflict with the Zionist enemy”. 

He said that his militia has targeted 107 American, British or Israeli-linked vessels since the beginning of Houthi escalation in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden In November.

In a televised speech, he said that during this week his militias “carried out eight operations that targeted vessels in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Arabian Sea, and extended to the Indian Ocean and South Israel by using 33 ballistic and winged missiles and drones.”

He pointed out that the total number of operations carried out, since the beginning of the ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ battle (October 7), amounted to 156 operations at sea and in southern occupied Palestine, carried out with 606 ballistic and winged missiles and drones since the beginning of the operation to support ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ operation, and enemy targets in occupied Palestine were bombed with 111 ballistic missiles, a winged aircraft, and drone, according to Houthi-media outlet saba.ye.

He added: “Enemies are very dismayed and worried due to these operations that extended to the Indian Ocean”, according to the Turkish Anatolia Agency.

For its part, the US. Central Command announced that it destroyed three drones in the Houthi-controlled areas on May 2. CENTCOM said on X: “It was determined these systems presented an imminent threat to U.S., coalition forces, and merchant vessels in the region. These actions are taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S., coalition, and merchant vessels.”

Media outlets affiliated with the Houthis announced that the Hodeida Airport was targeted by five American-British raids, according to Al-Masirah Channel.

On April 30, the US. Central Command announced the destruction of an unmanned boat in the Houthi-controlled area.

On April 29, the US Army said that the Iran-backed Houthis launched three anti-ship ballistic missiles and three drones from areas under their control toward the Malta-flagged, Greece-owned container ship “Cyclades” with no casualties.

Later, the Houthis published footage showing a "Shehab drone" as well as aerial scenes of “Cyclades”. They claimed that it is the moment of targeting the ship by the drone.

- South24 Center

HouthisYemenRed SeaBab AlmandabUSA StrickesIranIsraelNorh Yemen