Houthis in Yemen deny intentions to escalate Red Sea attacks

Yemen’s Houthis told Reuters that they do not plan to expand their attacks beyond blockading Israel and retaliating against the United States and Britain. The spokesman, Mohammed Abdulsalam, said the group has no intentions to target Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Houthis have claimed to target ships at the Red Sea’s mouth in solidarity with Palestinians and as a show of opposition to Israel. The attacks have led to international shipping companies rerouting trade between Europe and Asia, which has increased time and costs. The conflict in the Red Sea is one of several involving armed groups backed by Iran across the Middle East. The Houthis have held their ground through years of war against Saudi Arabia and the UAE and are currently in peace talks. Abdulsalam also said that the Houthis have not received any orders from Iran and have made their own decisions in the conflict. He added that Yemen is focused on preventing Israeli ships from reaching the occupied Palestinian territories.