Blinken says there will be consequences for continued Houthi attacks in Red Sea

Blinken says there will be consequences for continued Houthi attacks in Red Sea

Shafaq News/ US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Wednesday that “there will be consequences” for the continued Houthi attacks in the Red Sea.

"I'm not going to telegraph or preview anything that that might happen," Blinken said in a press gaggle in Bahrain. "We've made clear, we've been clear with more than 20 other countries that if it continues, as it did yesterday, there will be consequences."

Blinken's warning comes as the Yemen based Iranian-backed militant group shows no signs of de-escalation and the potential for regional flare-up looms large.

On Tuesday, the US Navy shot down 21 Houthi missiles and drones launched from Yemen, according to a statement from US Central Command, in one of the largest Houthi attacks to take place in the Red Sea in recent months.

There were no ships damaged in the attacks and no injuries as a result of the massive drone and missile launch, CENTCOM said.

The Houthis have recently carried out scores of attacks and seized a commercial vessel and its crew in retaliation for the Israeli war against Gaza. The attacks have already had consequences for the global economy as they have effectively closed one of the world's main trade routes to most container ships.

There have been multiple signals in recent weeks that the US is considering taking more forceful military action to come in response to the Houthi attacks, even amid efforts to backchannel with Iran and the Houthis to urge them to de-escalate.

Blinken said Wednesday that, amid the efforts to prevent a regional conflict from spreading, it is "particularly important that we respond when we see something like the aggression coming from the Houthis."

"This represents a clear threat to the interests of countries around the world. And it’s important that the international community come together and respond to them," he said.

On Wednesday, British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps warned "we will take the action needed to protect innocent lives and the global economy."

The US is "considering all options" as they seek to build as much international consensus as possible on the need for the Houthis to stop, a Western official told CNN.

Last week, the US and 12 other countries released a joint statement condemning the attacks on shipping. A senior US administration official indicated that the statement was likely the coalition's last warning.

The United Nations Security Council is expected to vote on Wednesday on a US-led resolution condemning "in the strongest terms the at least two dozen Houthi attacks on merchant and commercial vessels since November 19, 2023" and demanding "that the Houthis immediately cease all such attacks."

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