Yemen expands front against Israel to include Mediterranean Sea

The Cradle, May 3, 2024 ─ 

The Yemeni armed forces announced on 3 May the start of the “fourth phase” of escalation against Israel and in support of Palestine, threatening to target Israeli-linked ships “anywhere within our reach.”

Sanaa highlights in a statement that the attacks, which have successfully locked Israel out of the Red Sea, will expand to the Mediterranean Sea. Earlier this year, the Yemeni armed forces expanded the scope of their pro-Palestine operations to include the Indian Ocean, severely affecting the Israeli economy.

Friday’s statement from the Ansarallah-led government also warns Tel Aviv against launching their assault on the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, saying that, with immediate effect, any ships “linked to the provision of supplies and entry into the Palestinian ports under occupation” would be subject to “severe penalties.”

The statement stresses that these ships will not be allowed to “sail through the area of military operations, regardless of their destination.”

The escalation by Yemen was made public by armed forces spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree, who made the announcement in front of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis who continue to gather in the capital every week to show their support for the Palestinians in Gaza.

Since mid-November, Yemen has maintained a naval trade blockade against Israel. The armed forces’ operations remain mostly unaffected despite an illegal US bombing campaign and the heavy militarization of the Red Sea by NATO countries.

“We didn’t necessarily expect this level of threat. There was an uninhibited violence that was quite surprising and very significant. [The Yemenis] do not hesitate to use drones that fly at water level, to explode them on commercial ships, and to fire ballistic missiles,” Jerome Henry, the commander of France’s Aquitaine-class FREMM frigate Alsace, told Le Figaro last month.

Ansarallah leaders have repeatedly stated that the Yemeni operations will continue until Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza comes to a stop and a lasting ceasefire is implemented.

In the face of its failure to deter Yemen, Washington recently offered the country “an acknowledgment of its legitimacy” in exchange for its neutrality in the war on Gaza.

“[Washington] pledged to repair the damages, remove foreign forces from all occupied Yemeni lands and islands, and remove Ansarallah from the State Department’s ‘terrorism list’ – as soon as they stop their attacks in support of Gaza,” according to Yemeni sources who spoke exclusively with The Cradle.

The offer also included “severely reducing” the role of the Saudi-appointed Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) and “accelerating the signing of a roadmap” with the Saudi-led coalition to end the nine-year war that has decimated Yemen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *