Houthis Escalate Threats Against Shipping, Launching “Fourth Stage”

06 May Houthis Escalate Threats Against Shipping, Launching “Fourth Stage”

The leader of the Houthi movement called for a further escalation of the attacks on shipping, citing the potential attack on the city of Rafah and as Western pressure grows on Hamas to accept the terms of a proposed ceasefire.

“The Yemeni armed forces announce the beginning of the implementation of the fourth stage of escalation,” Houthi spokesperson Yahya Saree announced. He said it was effective immediately from “the moment of this statement.”

The statement said they were targeting all ships “violating the ban on Israeli navigation,” and heading to Israeli ports in the Mediterranean. They vowed attacks in “any reachable area” within their range, which some media outlets are interpreting as a threat against ships in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

The Houthi also threatened to expand their attacks to “all ships and companies that are related to supplying and entering [Israeli ports] of any nationality if a military operation is launched against Rafah” in southern Gaza. The United States and other Western allies have been pressuring Israel not to attack Rafah, while the Israeli government and military continue to accuse the leaders of Hamas of hiding among the civilian population of Rafah.

Read more in an article from The Maritime Executive.