Houthi demonstrators hold a pro-Palestine rally in Sanaa earlier this month (Reuters)

The leader of the Ansar Allah group (Houthis) Abdul Malik al-Houthi vowed on Wednesday that the United States will target American battleships and ships with missiles and drones if it targets Yemen, in response to the group's attacks on commercial ships linked to Israel.

Abdul Malik al-Houthi said – in a speech – "We will not stand idly by if the Americans have a tendency to escalate and commit folly by targeting our country."

The Houthis announced last November that they would target any ship owned or operated by Israeli companies or transporting goods to and from Israel when it passes through the Bab al-Mandab Strait in solidarity with Gaza, until food and fuel are brought into the Strip.

Service to Israel

In his speech, Abdul Malik al-Houthi stressed that Washington's moves to protect Israeli ships in the Red Sea are an effort to implicate others in protecting them, which is "a service exclusively for Israel and not for international navigation."

"What Israel seeks is to involve others in protecting its ships and associated with them," he said, calling on those he described as other countries not to implicate themselves and sacrifice themselves for this purpose.

He pointed out that this US position in support of Tel Aviv violates the rights of countries bordering the Red Sea, as he put it.

He also said that some countries are trying to prevent the group's missiles and drones from reaching the Israeli enemy, and that the Houthis have "been patient" for countries to intercept their missiles and prevent them from reaching their targets inside Israel, but did not name these countries.

Regarding the group's position on the aggression on Gaza and its targeting of ships linked to Israel, the Houthi official said that "the position on supporting Palestine is unified and has a popular and political consensus" inside Yemen, which is "effective and influential."

He noted that this move does not target global navigation or international ships, but "exclusively the Zionist enemy", he said.

He also said that "the greatest responsibility lies with Muslims to have a voice and to provide all forms of support" to the Palestinians, noting that what he called the "position of the summits" was weak and lukewarm and did not amount to a strong position.

He stressed that the group asked the countries separating Yemen from Palestine to open the crossings for the passage of its mujahideen to Palestine, as he put it.

Special power

It is noteworthy that Israeli media reports said in early December that the United States and Israel are considering the formation of a special operations force in the Red Sea, in response to Houthi attacks on Israeli ships.

According to these reports, Tel Aviv has turned to countries including Britain, Japan and other countries to form a special operations force.

Source : Al Jazeera