Who is Houthi's target? Top official says, ‘any country involved with…' | World News - Hindustan Times
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Who is Houthi's target? Top official says, ‘any country involved with…'

Jan 06, 2024 04:51 AM IST

The top official referred to the countries that joined the US-led Red Sea coalition that warned of “consequences” against the Houthi group.

Any country that would involve itself with the United States-led Red Sea coalition will lose its maritime security and be targeted, a senior official of Yemen's Houthi supreme revolutionary committee, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, said in an interview with the BBC. The top Houthi group official referred to the coalition spearheaded by the US, which consists of 12 countries, including the UK, Australia and Japan, that jointly warned of “consequences” unless the Iran-backed rebel group halts its attacks. India steered clear of being part of any coalition and international drive against the group.

Members of the Yemeni Coast Guard affiliated with the Houthi group patrol the sea as demonstrators march through the Red Sea port city of Hodeida in solidarity with the people of Gaza.(AFP)
Members of the Yemeni Coast Guard affiliated with the Houthi group patrol the sea as demonstrators march through the Red Sea port city of Hodeida in solidarity with the people of Gaza.(AFP)

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The Houthi group has surged its attack on commercial ships crossing the Red Sea, largely in the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait near Southern Yemen, a stronghold of the rebel group, using drones and missiles in an attempt to inflict a cost as a protest against Israel's military operation in Gaza. The Red Sea is a major trade route between the West and the East, and the Houthi's campaign in the area caused an extraordinary disruption to international shipping. Some companies suspended their transit through the sea and chose to take a much longer and costlier journey around Africa.

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A day after the US and its allies' deterrence, the Houthis detonated a drone boat packed with explosives in the Red Sea on Thursday. "It came within a couple of miles of shps operating in the area - merchant ships and U.S. Navy ships - and we all watched as it exploded," Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, who leads US Naval forces in the Middle East, said.

India's exports impacted

The crucial trade route from India following the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea received a blow after escalating tensions in the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. India's exports have been impacted due to increasing freight costs and insurance premiums as the transport of goods rerouted through the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. The travel time has also increased by at least 14 days for the exported goods to reach the US and Europe.

India providing security escorts

Meanwhile, the Union ministry of defence has offered protection to Indian container ships on the high seas around the Red Sea, Reuters reported, citing sources. "Many consignments are being escorted with security on the high seas with help from Ministry of Defence," a person aware of the matter said.

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