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Houthis claim Red Sea victory against US Navy

Monday May 6, 2024

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) defeats a combination of Houthi missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles in the Red Sea. (File/AFP)

The Houthis have reiterated a warning of strikes against ships bound for or with links to Israel — including those in the Mediterranean — as they claimed victory against the US Navy in the Red Sea.

The Houthi-controlled SABA news agency reported that the fourth phase of the militia’s pro-Palestine campaign would involve targeting all ships en route to Israel that came within range of their drones and missiles, noting that the US, UK, and other Western navies “stood helpless” in the face of their attacks.

“The fourth phase demonstrates the striking strength of the Yemeni armed forces in battling the world’s most potent naval weaponry, the American, British and European fleets, as well as the Zionist (Israel) navy,” SABA said.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said on Friday strikes against Israel-linked ships would be expanded to the Mediterranean. Attacks would be escalated to include any companies interacting with Israel if the country carried out its planned attack on the Palestinian Rafah.

Since November, the Houthis have launched hundreds of ballistic missiles and drones at commercial and navy vessels in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandab Strait and the Gulf of Aden. They claim attacks are only aimed at ships linked with Israel in a bid to force an end to its siege on the Gaza Strip.

They have also fired at US and UK commercial and navy ships in international waters off Yemen after the two countries launched strikes against Houthi-controlled areas.

On Saturday, Houthi information minister Dhaif Allah Al-Shami claimed the US was forced to withdraw its aircraft carrier and other naval ships from the Red Sea after failing to counteract attacks. He added new offensives would begin against Israeli ships in the Mediterranean in the coming days.

“They failed badly. Yemeni missiles and drones beat the US Navy, and its military, cruisers, destroyers and aircraft carriers started to retreat from our seas,” Al-Shami said in an interview with Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV news channel.

Yemen specialists have disputed Houthi assertions that they have military weapons capable of reaching Israeli ships in the Mediterranean.

Brig. Gen. Mohammed Al-Kumaim, a Yemeni military analyst, told Arab News on Sunday the Houthis would only be able to carry out such attacks if they had advanced weaponry. He said the Houthis were expanding their campaign against ships to avoid growing public resentment in areas under their control after the militia had failed to pay public employees and repair services.

Al-Kumaim added the Houthis might claim responsibility for an attack on a ship in the Mediterranean which was carried out by an Iran-backed group operating in the region.

“Theoretically and technologically, the Houthis lack any technical or military capability to achieve their objectives (in the Mediterranean),” Al-Kumaim said.


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