David Cameron: Latest allied air strikes send 'clearest possible message' to Houthis

Tuesday 23 January 2024

The latest round of UK and allied strikes against Houthi targets was designed to “send the clearest possible message” to the rebels that attacks on cargo ships are “unacceptable”, the Foreign Secretary said.

Britain joined the US in carrying out a fresh set of joint air strikes in Yemen in response to the Houthi rebels targeting international shipping along vital Red Sea and Gulf of Aden trade routes.

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said UK armed forces will “continue to degrade” the Houthis’ ability to carry out attacks as long as their “completely indiscriminate” campaign of harassment in the Middle East continues.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to update MPs during an appearance in the Commons on Tuesday.

Lord Cameron said the UK had renewed its military action against the Iran-backed Houthis due to attacks on cargo ships continuing.

London and Washington targeted rebel sites overnight on January 11-12, with further US attacks in recent days.

Despite the Western intervention, ships have continued to be targeted along the major global trade route which provides access to the Suez Canal, a thoroughfare that serves 15% of world shipping.

International freight companies have been forced to reroute cargo vessels around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa, resulting in longer and more costly journeys.

The Foreign Secretary, speaking to broadcasters on Tuesday, said: “Since we last took action 10 days ago, there have been over 12 attacks on shipping by the Houthis in the Red Sea.

“These attacks are illegal, they are unacceptable.

“What we have done again is send the clearest possible message that we will continue to degrade their ability to carry out these attacks while sending the clearest possible message that we back our words and our warnings with action.”

The US military confirmed the latest strikes were against eight targets.

The Ministry of Defence said four Royal Air Force Typhoons and a pair of Voyager tankers were involved in the latest action.

The department said several targets were hit at two military sites near the Sanaa airfield in Yemen.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement