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Red Sea Crisis

Houthis vow to expand attacks against shipping into the Indian Ocean

Video still via Indian Navy on X A still of a video in which the Indian Navy rescues seafarers from MV True Confidence
Houthi rebels in Yemen say they will expand the range of their attacks on shipping to cover across the Indian Ocean to South Africa and the Cape of Good Hope.

The official spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces Commander Abdulmalik Badr al-Din al-Houthi announced on the Houthi’s Telegram channel that the group intends to spread its sphere of operations across a region that covers thousands of square miles.

The commander claimed: “Our serious approach is to continue to effectively expand the scope of our operations to reach areas and locations that the enemy never expected.”

The Houthi commander repeated their demand for an end to the aggression against Palestinians in order to end the attacks on commercial shipping.

He added: “We are moving to prevent the passage of ships associated with the Israeli enemy, across the Indian Ocean and from South Africa towards the Good Hope Road [Cape of Good Hope].”

Preparations to broaden the scope of operations are already under way said the Houthis, but US Central Command (Centcom) has also reported another volley of drones and missiles launched over the last 24 hours.

“Between 6:50am on 14 March and 12:40am on 15 March (local time), Houthi terrorists fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles… toward the Gulf of Aden and two additional ASBMs towards the Red Sea. There were no injuries or damage reported to US or coalition ships,” reported Centcom.

An additional nine anti-ship missiles and two drones were destroyed said the US military.

“These actions are taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for US Navy and merchant vessels,” Centcom added.

Asked whether it was time to negotiate a settlement with the Houthi movement given the failure of armed conflict to end the attacks on commercial vessels, Corey Ranslem CEO at security firm Dryad Global said it was not clear that such a move would be possible.

“I don’t know if there is the ability to negotiate a settlement with the Houthi’s.  They started this campaign because of the war between Hamas and Israel. I don’t know if a true settlement can be negotiated until there is a settlement with the war.”

He added: “We are still recommending that our clients avoid this region as the risk is too high to crew, cargo and vessels.”