Houthi Movement Chief Vows to Continue Confronting U.S. Forces

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-01-18 04:10 PM UTC

 Yemen's Ansar Allah (Houthi) movement chief Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, said he will continue to confront the American and British aggression, denying that the recent U.S. and U.K. strikes had degraded the group's military capabilities in Yemen. 

His broadcast speech today is the first since the inception of the US-led aerial campaign, which began on Friday, hitting several sites in diverse Houthi-controlled provinces. 

The first U.S.-Houthi clash happened on December 31, when the American forces sank three Houthi boats, killing at least ten crewmembers. Since January 12, the U.S. has carried out dozens of strikes, attempting to deter the Houthis from continuing their attacks on the shipping lanes in the Red Sea. 

However, Al-Houthi said today the U.S. cannot force Yemen to alter its military stance on the Israeli war on Palestinians in Gaza. He said, "Yemen's military position is based on faith. The Americans must understand what we mean by faith affiliation and faith position. We live for it,and we die for it."

Washington reclassified the Houthis yesterday as a "terrorist group" over its attacks on the shipping lanes in the Red Sea. The movement leader said today that Yemen "will classify the Americans and the British on the list of countries that protect, sponsor, and support Zionist terrorism."

U.S. sanctions on Houthi backers, airstrikes on military sites, and redesignating the Houthis as "terrorists" aim to pressure the Yemeni group to mitigate its hostile behavior. Al-Houthi's speech today indicates that the group remains defiant. 

A statement by the U.S. Central Command said the U.S. forces "conducted strikes on 14 Iran-backed Houthi missiles that were loaded to be fired in Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen." 

It added, "These missiles on launch rails presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region and could have been fired at any time, prompting U.S. forces to exercise their inherent right and obligation to defend themselves."

According to the statement, the strikes and other actions will degrade the Houthi military capabilities. Yesterday's strikes marked the fourth time within a week that the United States targeted Yemen's Houthi group. 

The Houthi-controlled media outlets reported that the latest strikes on Wednesday hit the provinces of Al-Hudaydah, Taiz, Dhamar, al-Bayda, and Saada. 

However, the American military operations have not stopped Houthis from firing missiles and drones toward ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. On Wednesday, the Houthis launched an attack on the U.S.-owned Genco Picardy in the Gulf of Aden. They also hit the U.S.-owned and operated dry bulk ship Gibraltar Eagle with an anti-ship ballistic missile on Monday. 

Houthi spokesperson Yahya Saree said yesterday, "The naval forces will not ahesitate to target all sources of threat in the Red and Arabian sea within the legitimate right to defend Yemen and to continue supporting the oppressed Palestinian people."