Yemeni gov't denies joining U.S.-led maritime coalition against Houthi attacks in Red Sea

(Xinhua) 09:28, December 14, 2023

ADEN, Yemen, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Yemeni government on Wednesday denied the joining of a newly proposed international maritime coalition led by the United States to protect shipping lines from Houthi attacks in the Red Sea and the Bab Al-Mandab Strait.

According to a report by the state-run Saba news agency, an unidentified government official refuted "the widespread rumors circulating the media about Yemen's engagement," noting decision about Yemeni joining such coalitions would be made by the highest authorities in the country, particularly the Presidential Leadership Council.

Meanwhile, the official stressed the importance of supporting the Yemeni government to protect its territorial waters and mitigate threats from the Houthi group, the report said.

The situation in the Red Sea intensified on Tuesday when the Houthis claimed responsibility for targeting a Norwegian oil tanker en route to Israel with a missile, as part of their previously issued warning against aiding Israel.

The Houthis, who have been controlling a major part of northern Yemen and its western coastline along the Red Sea for years, have announced that any vessels aiding Israel, which is waging an attack on Gaza, will be treated as legitimate targets.

Earlier in December, the rebel group took credit for attacks on two vessels purportedly associated with Israel in the Bab Al-Mandab region. Also, the Houthis have been detaining a ship with a crew of 52 since Nov. 19, further exacerbating regional maritime security.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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