Yemen Houthi leader warns ‘any American targeting of our country will be targeted by us’

Yemen Houthi leader warns ‘any American targeting of our country will be targeted by us’


The leader of Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels is now warning that “any American targeting of our country will be targeted by us” as the U.S. is leading a multinational effort to protect commercial ships from being attacked by the Houthis in the Red Sea. 

The fiery rhetoric from Abdel-Malek al-Houthi comes as Greece said on Thursday it will send a naval frigate to the region to participate in Operation Prosperity Guardian, according to Reuters. 

“We will not stand idly by if the Americans are tempted to escalate further and commit foolishness by targeting our country or waging war against it,” Reuters quoted al-Houthi as saying Wednesday in a televised speech. 

“Any American targeting of our country will be targeted by us, and we will make American battleships, interests, and navigation a target for our missiles, drones, and military operations,” he reportedly added.

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Guided-missile destroyer USS Carney is seen in Souda Bay, Greece. The U.S. warship and multiple commercial ships came under attack on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023 in the Red Sea, the Pentagon said, as part of a series of maritime attacks in the Mideast linked to the Israel-Hamas war. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bill Dodge/U.S. Navy via AP)

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement Tuesday that “The recent escalation in reckless Houthi attacks originating from Yemen threatens the free flow of commerce, endangers innocent mariners, and violates international law. ” 

“Operation Prosperity Guardian is bringing together multiple countries to include the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain, to jointly address security challenges in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, with the goal of ensuring freedom of navigation for all countries and bolstering regional security and prosperity,” Austin added. 

However, the announcement has drawn a mixed reaction from some of the countries’ defense ministries. 

WHITE HOUSE SAYS ‘OPERATION PROSPERITY GUARDIAN’ WILL COUNTER HOUTHI THREATS AGAINST SHIPS IN RED SEA 

Abdel-Malek al-Houthi speech on TV in Yemen

People watch a screen displaying a live speech by the leader of the Houthi group Abdel-Malek al-Houthi in Sanaa, Yemen, in February 2015. (Reuters/Mohamed al-Sayaghi)

In a statement Thursday, Greek Defense Minister Nikos Dendias said the frigate his country is sending “will participate in the multinational operation ‘Prosperity Guardian’, for the protection of merchant ships, the lives of seafarers, the global economy,” according to Reuters. 

The U.K. Ministry of Defense said Tuesday that Royal Navy Destroyer HMS Diamond has joined the effort. 

“Alongside HMS Diamond, the task force currently includes three U.S. destroyers, and a French warship is also in the region,” it said at the time.

HMS Diamond destroyer

HMS Diamond, which the U.K. Ministry of Defense says has joined Operation Prosperity Guardian, is seen operating off the coast of Scotland in October 2020. (LPhot Belinda Alker/Ministry of Defence via AP)

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However, France’s Defense Ministry said its ships in the region would stay under their command and Spain’s Defense Ministry said it will only participate in NATO or EU-led operations, Reuters reports. 



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