The Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) on Thursday warned the Houthi rebel group against continuing its attacks on ships in the Red Sea.
In a brief press statement revealed by the state-run Saba news agency, the PLC, chaired by Rashad Al-Alimi, held the Houthis fully responsible for any potential consequences stemming from their military operations against commercial ships.
In a PLC meeting held in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, the Yemeni leaders cautioned that such Houthi attacks could draw Yemen into an “international war” and exacerbate the human suffering caused by the years-long military conflict in the country.
It accused the Houthis of turning the territorial waters into an arena for international conflict and threatening a lifeline for Yemenis by disrupting shipping and driving up costs.
With tension escalating in the Red Sea, the presidential council called on the international community to strengthen Yemen’s government defenses and deter further Houthi violence.
The warning raised fears that the clashes could draw Yemen further into regional conflicts. The U.S. has formed a multinational naval task force to deter the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea.
For several weeks, the Houthi militia has intensified military operations in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, targeting commercial ships with armed boats, drones, and sea missiles. The group said it would target any vessels either belonging to Israel or heading to Israeli ports, in response to the ongoing conflict in Gaza Strip.
The Houthis have controlled the capital Sanaa and much of northern Yemen since ousting the internationally recognized Yemeni government in 2014.