Yemen Militia Scales Back Red Sea Attacks


By Saeed Al-Batati

Yemen’s Houthi militia has significantly scaled back attacks on ships in the Red Sea, despite continued threats to target US-led multinational task forces monitoring the key trade route.

The number of Houthi strikes fell to zero for a second day on Thursday, with neither the UK Maritime Trade Operations nor the US Central Command reporting fresh attacks on commercial or naval vessels.

The UKMTO’s most recent alarm early on Tuesday warned of a “suspicious” watercraft approaching a ship 80 nautical miles northeast of Djibouti.

Iran-backed Houthis have threatened to prevent any ships heading to Israel from passing through the Red Sea and have seized a commercial ship. The militia has also launched ballistic missiles and drones at ships to put pressure on Israel to lift its blockade of Gaza.

The US has led a global coalition task force to protect the Red Sea, a major international trade route, against Houthi threats. Militia assaults have led to some shipping corporations rerouting their ships away from the area.

The Houthis have vowed to strike US-led naval forces if Yemen is attacked.

The decline in Houthi Red Sea attacks comes amid renewed clashes between the militia and Yemeni government forces in the southern city of Taiz.

Yemen’s army said on Thursday that the Houthis attacked an air defense site west of Taiz, the latest militia effort to seize military locations in the besieged city.

Troops fought off the Houthi onslaught, according to an army statement. Hostilities have generally eased since April 2022, when a UN-brokered cease-fire went into place.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International asked the Houthis on Wednesday to release six members of the minority religious Baha’i sect, including a woman, saying that the detainees face a significant risk of mistreatment at the hands of their captors.

On May 25, armed Houthis raided a Baha’i assembly in Sanaa and seized 17 people. Following worldwide pressure, 11 were released.

“Amnesty International calls on the Houthi de facto authorities to immediately and unconditionally release the remaining six Baha’i detainees as they are detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights,” the rights group said in a statement.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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