Joint statement from US, 11 others threatens Houthis over Red Sea attacks

Twelve nations led by the United States are jointly warning Yemen’s Houthi rebels of unspecified consequences unless they halt attacks on Red Sea shipping vessels.

“Let our message now be clear: we call for the immediate end of these illegal attacks and release of unlawfully detained vessels and crews,” says the statement released by the White House.

“The Houthis will bear the responsibility of the consequences should they continue to threaten lives, the global economy and free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways,” reads the statement.

It comes after several reports that President Joe Biden’s administration is considering direct strikes on the rebels if the attacks continue.

Signatories of the statement included Britain, which on Monday issued its own warning to the Houthis of “direct action,” as well as Australia, Canada, Germany and Japan.

The only regional country to sign is Bahrain, the tiny Gulf state that has particularly tense relations with Iran, which supports the Houthis.

Israel is not a signatory, and the statement does not mention the country or the war against Hamas which ostensibly sparked the Houthi attacks.

“These attacks threaten innocent lives from all over the world and constitute a significant international problem that demands collective action,” the statement reads.

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