Senior Houthi Regime Official: We Will Operate From Bab Al-Mandeb Strait Against The 'American Plot' In The Red Sea

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July 19, 2022

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here. 

Even several days after U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia from July 13 to 16, 2022, his trip is still reverberating among supporters of the resistance axis. This is primarily because, according to reports in the Arab press prior to the visit, one of the main issues on the agenda was the creation of a kind of regional NATO that would respond to local threats, first and foremost those posed by Iran.[1] However, it should be noted that senior officials in some Gulf countries deny these reports.[2]

Dr. 'Abd Al-'Aziz Salih bin Habtour,[3] prime minister of the Houthi Ansar Allah National Salvation Government, harshly criticized the visit and the agreements which were reached as a result, mainly the agreement to enhance the collaboration between the Royal Saudi Navy and the Combined Task Force 153[4] regarding maritime activity in the Red Sea. The task force[5] was set up in April 2022, to counter the activities of Iran and the militias it supports in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandeb, and the Gulf of Aden.

In a July 18, 2022 interview with Al-Masirah, the Houthi Ansar Allah movement TV channel, the prime minister stressed that, "Bab Al-Mandeb strait is an international strait, but it is part of the territory of Yemen and it [Yemen] will not permit the transformation of the Red Sea into an Israeli lake. We have the deciding vote in the Bab Al-Mandeb strait so as to preserve the Arab identity of the Red Sea in the face of the American plot to make it into a Zionist lake."

Habtour added that Biden's visit to the region exposes "the American weakness." Commenting on the clauses that relate to the crisis in Yemen in the summary statement published following the Jeddah Security and Development Summit, which he referred to as "the collaborators' summit," the prime minister said that they reflected "hypocrisy" and that Saudi Arabia is a hostile and aggressive element. He also accused the Saudi-Led Arab Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, which he dubs "the coalition of aggression," of not having been honest or committed to implementing the ceasefire agreement reached by the UN in April 2022.

This is not the first time that the Houthis have threatened to take action against the new American naval force in the Red Sea. Immediately after the announcement of its establishment, Muhammad 'Ali Al-Houthi, a member of Ansar Allah's Supreme Political Council, tweeted the hashtag #OurNavalForceHasItsOwnPeople.[6]   

 

[2] Arabic.cnn.com, July 15, 2022.

[3] Masirahtv.net, July 18, 2022.

[4] Whitehouse.gov, July 15, 2022.

[5] For more information about Combined Task Force 153, see MEMRI JTTM Report: Houthis Threaten To Target New U.S.-Led Naval Force To Be Deployed In Red Sea, April 14, 2022.

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