Houthis Say Peace Talks With Saudi Arabia "Ongoing"
Mohammed Abdulsalam, chief negotiator and spokesperson of the Houthis, said on Thursday that the recent meeting of the Sanaa delegation with Saudi Arabia officials has "resulted in overcoming the most important obstacles facing the roadmap" to peace. Abdulsalam said the Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea would only stop if Tel Aviv ended their assault on the Palestinian people. Abdulsalam believes that efforts at finding peace in Yemen "are going well, both since the start of the U.N. truce in April 2022, and their attacks in the Red Sea will not affect the peace process in Yemen. Asked about the extent of the Houthis' willingness to begin political negotiations, including power sharing, elections, and a new constitution. Abdulsalam said, "The roadmap included everyone's concerns and highlighted the urgent humanitarian situation that the Yemeni people are suffering from."
The U.S. military carried out new air strikes on Yemen on Friday, targeting the ruling Houthis' military over its attack on shipping. The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces said in a statement it "conducted self-defense strikes against two mobile unmanned surface vessels (USV), four mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, and one mobile land attack cruise missile (LACM) that were prepared to launch against ships in the Red Sea." it added that the CENTCOM identified these missiles and USVs in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined they presented an imminent threat to U.S. Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region. It has been a month since the U.S. began striking Houthi targets in Yemen to stop attacks on shipping lanes in the Red Sea.
Vincent Clerc, the CEO of the world's largest shipping company, Maersk, affirmed that Western military presence does not guarantee the safety of navigation in the region at present. Clerc stated in an interview on Thursday with Bloomberg that the impact of Houthi operations in the Red Sea against ships associated with Israel, as well as Western warships, is worsening without a clear vision of how the situation will end in the future. He pointed out the lack of security guarantees in the Red Sea, where ships have been targeted in several attacks by the Houthis based in Yemen, emphasizing that military disturbances in the Red Sea have affected about a third of the company's container volume.
Israeli airstrikes killed at least 31 Palestinians — a third of them children — in the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Saturday, hours after Israel's prime minister said he asked the military to plan for the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people there ahead of a ground invasion.Israel says that Rafah, which borders Egypt, is the last remaining stronghold for the Hamas militant group in Gaza after more than four months of war sparked by the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.