Biden says US privately reaches out to Iran over Houthi attacks

Washington, Jan 14 (UNI) US President Joe Biden said on Saturday that his administration had privately sent a message to Iran regarding attacks by Yemen’s rebel Ansar Allah movement, also known as the Houthis, in the Red Sea.

“I’ve delivered — we’ve delivered it privately, and we’re confident we’re well prepared,” Biden told reporters when asked whether he had a message for the Iranian government amid Houthi activity in the region.

In November 2023, the Houthis announced their intention to attack any ships associated with Israel, urging other countries to recall their crews from the vessels. The Houthis vowed to continue their attacks until Israel ended its military actions in the Gaza Strip.

On December 19, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the establishment of a multinational operation to secure the Red Sea, saying that the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, the Seychelles, and Spain would take part in the mission. The Houthis vowed to attack any ships that join the US-led maritime coalition.

In the early hours of Friday, the US and UK military carried out 23 airstrikes on targets in four provinces in different parts of Yemen, including the capital of Sanaa and the cities of Al Hudaydah, Taizz and Sadah, local government sources told Sputnik. Later in the day, the US Air Forces Central said that US strikes against the Houthis in Yemen had hit more than 60 targets in 16 different locations.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saria later said that the US and the UK had carried out 73 strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen, killing five fighters and injuring six others. A member of Houthis’ high political council, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, described the Western attacks as “barbaric terrorism” and “deliberate and unjustified aggression.”

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