Demonisation is a familiar play when organisations and governments challenge western policy.
One of the arguments now making the rounds about the Houthi movement in Yemen is that its actions against Red Sea shipping have nothing to do with Gaza at all – and that even if Israel stopped the war, the Houthis wouldn’t stop.
Underlying this is not just demonisation, but also racism. British officials have repeatedly made such claims in recent days, aiming to justify launching strikes without parliamentary approval. The Houthis’ actions have “nothing to do with the Israel-Gaza conflict”, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps noted.
This is despite the fact that the Houthis have consistently said they are only targeting ships heading to Israel, and have avoided causing any deaths – while suffering their own casualties in the US-British attacks launched since 12 January. The most their fighters have done is taken ship crew members hostage.
The Houthis have won huge support across the Global South because the Red Sea attacks are seen as a brave, if modest, effort by the little guy against a tyrannical force. [Continue reading…]
The Houthis say they have successfully targeted a British and a US ship in the Red Sea, casting doubt on the effectiveness of three waves of US-UK strikes on missile sites belonging to the group in Yemen.
Neither of the two ships were badly damaged but the incident will underscore the need for commercial ships either to pay higher insurance premiums or take longer, more expensive routes to avoid the threat of Houthi attacks.
The US military undertook a daylight raid on the port of Hodeidah on Monday without UK support.
A Houthi spokesperson, Yahya Saree, said in a statement on Tuesday: “We carried out two military operations, the first targeted an American ship (Star Nasia), and the other targeted a British ship (Morning Tide).” [Continue reading…]