UNSC passes resolution demanding halt to Red Sea shipping attacks, ‘political game’, says Houthi| World News


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United Nations: The UN Security Council adopted a resolution Wednesday condemning and demanding an immediate halt to attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on merchant and commercial vessels in the Red Sea area.

The resolution, sponsored by the United States and Japan, says at least two dozen Houthi attacks are impeding global commerce and undermine navigational rights and freedoms as well as regional peace and security. The vote was 11-0 with four abstentions Russia, China, Algeria and Mozambique. Immediately before the vote, the council rejected three proposed Russian amendments. It also implicitly endorsed a US-led task force that has been defending vessels while cautioning against escalating tensions.

Political game, says Houthis
The head of Yemen’s Houthi supreme revolutionary committee, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, said on Thursday the UN resolution on navigation on the Red Sea is a “political game” and that the United States was the one violating international law.

Al-Houthi said in a posting on media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that what Yemeni armed forces were doing comes within the framework of legitimate defense, and that any action they face will have a reaction.

“We call on the Security Council to immediately release 2.3 Million people from the Israeli-American siege in Gaza,” he said.

Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, head of the Houthi supreme revolutionary committee, walks after an interview with Reuters in Sanaa, Yemen August 1, 2018. File Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

The Houthis, an Iran-aligned group that seized much of Yemen in a civil war, have vowed to attack ships linked to Israel or bound for Israeli ports to show support for Hamas Islamists battling the Israeli offensive in Gaza. However, many of the targeted ships have had no links to Israel.

The Houthis, who have been engaged in a civil war with Yemen’s internationally recognized government since 2014, have said they launched the attacks with the aim of ending Israel’s devastating air-and-ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.

It was triggered by the Palestinian militant group Hamas’ October 7 surprise attack in southern Israel which killed about 1,200 people and led to some 250 others being taken hostage. Israel’s three-month assault in Gaza has killed more than 23,000 people, two-thirds of them women and children, according to the Hams-run Gaza Health Ministry which does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.

The resolution demands the immediate release of the first ship the Houthis attacked, the Galaxy Leader, a Japanese-operated cargo ship with links to an Israeli company that it seized on November 19 along with its crew.

However, the links to the ships targeted in the rebel assaults have grown more tenuous as the attacks continue. In the latest incident, a barrage of drones and missiles fired by the Houthis late Tuesday targeted shipping in the Red Sea, though the US said no damage was reported.

The Red Sea links the Mideast and Asia to Europe via the Suez Canal, and its narrow Bab el-Mandeb Strait. Nearly 10% of all oil trade and an estimated $1 trillion in goods pass through the strait annually. But the Houthi attacks have forced many shipping companies to bypass this route and use the much longer and more expensive route around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa.

A US-led coalition of nations has been patrolling the Red Sea to try to prevent the attacks.

Last week the US and 12 other countries issued a statement calling for the immediate end of Houthi attacks and warning that further attacks would require collective action. 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, they said.

While the Houthis have not stopped targeting ships, a tentative cease-fire between the Houthis and a Saudi-led coalition fighting on behalf of Yemen’s exiled government has held for months despite that country’s long war. That’s raised concerns that any wider conflict in the sea or a potential reprisal strike from Western forces could reignite those tensions in the Arab world’s poorest nation.
(With AP, Reuters inputs.)

UNSC passes resolution demanding halt to Red Sea shipping attacks, ‘political game’, says Houthi| World News

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