Peace Prospects Dwindle Amid Continued Preparation for War in Red Sea

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-01-06 08:12 PM UTC


Putting the Ansar Allah (Houthi)group back on "terrorism lists" is among the options on the table amid the group's continued attacks on shipping lanes in the Red Sea, the U.S. special envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, said on Friday.

As the Houthis are determined to keep attacking ships in the Red Sea, the U.S. has different options to respond, including redesignating the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization or launching strikes inside Yemen. Both ways can paralyze the peace process in Yemen and prolong the civil conflict.

Lenderking said, "Many options are being discussed to deal with …the dangerous and risky behaviors from the Houthis. These options can be avoided, but in the end, the choice will be in the hands of the Houthis themselves based on the path they will choose."

While the regional and international pressure has failed to dissuade the Houthi group from continuing their Red Sea attacks, the U.S. has begun planning for military operations against the Houthis over the group's repeated assaults on shipping lines in the Red Sea.

According to three U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the discussions, the U.S. military is drafting plans to hit back at Iran-backed Houthis. The plan includes striking Houthi targets in Yemen.


On Wednesday, the  United States, the United Kingdom, and ten other countries issued a joint statement, which appeared as the final warning to the group.

Sources told Sheba Intelligence on Thursday the Houthi sites that will be targeted include Houthi depots and missile and drone launch pads, particularly in Houthi-controlled coastal areas.

However, the Houthis remain defiant, and they appear willing to go to war against the American forces in the Red Sea. Yesterday, the Houthi group organized a mass rally in Sanaa and several provinces under their control, calling for ending the war on Gaza and expressing support for any move or decision to be taken by the Houthi leadership.

The mass rallies and military movements have been part of the Houthi strategy when they plan to wage a war. The group works to win public support and deploy its forces in different directions as it expects a face-off with the U.S. forces.

Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi, a member of the Houthi Supreme Political Council, said yesterday, "America should go and secure its seas in front of Florida and other American states." He added, "[The U.S.] is not responsible for international navigation, and today it is looking for an alliance to add fuel to the fire."

Al-Houthi  said his forces will target any country that targets Yemen, indicating that the operations "will expand according to the developments and directives of the leadership."

Since November 19, the Houthis have launched more than 20 attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, and they say that no country can stop them from supporting Palestinians in Gaza, which has been bombed and blockaded since October.