Houthi leader warns the militant group of preparing for a “long-term confrontation” with the United States

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Yemen's Houthi rebels warned Tuesday that they were prepared for a “long-term confrontation” with the United States and its allies in the Red Sea.

Mohammed Al-Atefi, the rebel military commander, claimed that his group and Yemen stand united against America and Britain after a series of retaliatory air strikes launched by the allies against militants suffering from trade and travel routes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

“We are prepared for a long-term confrontation with the forces of tyranny,” Al-Atefi said in a statement about the Western-led attacks. He added: “The Americans, the British, and those who coordinated with them must realize the strength of the sovereign Yemeni decision and that there is no discussion or disagreement about it.”

The announcement comes just one day after thousands of members and supporters of the group flocked to the Yemeni capital to hold a parade to celebrate the recent attacks against American and British ships.

Today, Saturday, Houthi militants attacked a British tanker, causing it to catch fire. Zomapress.com
Houthi members and their supporters have repeatedly gathered in the Yemeni capital to celebrate the group's attacks in the Red Sea. AP

The rebels launched their attacks in protest against Western allies who support Israel in its war against Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.

While US and British officials have noted that most of the near-daily attacks by Yemeni militants miss their intended targets, a Houthi missile struck a British tanker in the Gulf of Aden on Saturday, according to US Central Command.

The ship Marlin Luanda, which was carrying a highly flammable chemical used to dilute crude oil, caught fire during the attack, and US, French and Indian naval ships deployed to assist the British tanker.

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British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said that his country would not tolerate the attacks and reaffirmed Britain's commitment to fighting the Houthi rebels with the United States.

“This unlawful and illegal attack on shipping is the latest on innocent people and global trade,” Shapps said in a statement. “It is our duty to protect freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and we will remain more committed to this issue than ever.”

The British tanker Marilyn Luanda was carrying highly flammable chemicals when it was hit by a Houthi missile on Saturday. Via Reuters

After the attack on the British tanker, the Houthis also claimed, without providing any evidence, that they attacked a US Navy ship, the USS Lewis B. Puller, in the Gulf of Aden on Monday.

US officials denied the claim, saying no such attack had been reported by the mobile base.

The United States and Britain launched repeated retaliatory strikes against the Houthis in Yemen, destroying several command centers, weapons depots and training facilities.

Houthi members and their supporters waved their weapons in Sanaa during the military parade on Monday. Yahya Arhab/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The attacks aim to reduce the group's military capabilities in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden after the Iranian-backed militants pledged to continue attacking cargo ships unless the Israeli war on Gaza ends.

Israel declared war on Hamas terrorists in Gaza after they launched a massacre in Israel on October 7, killing more than 1,200 people, most of them civilians.

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi had previously announced in a televised statement that he welcomed an all-out war against the United States and its allies.

He said: “We thank God for this great blessing and our great honor to be in direct confrontation with Israel and America.”

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