Houthi Leader Threatens More Red Sea ‘Surprises’ in Chilling Address

SANA'A, YEMEN - NOVEMBER 22: Yemen's Houthi movement followers chant slogans as they atten
Mohammed Hamoud/Getty

The leader of the Yemeni terrorist organization Ansarallah, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, ominously promised “surprises” in a speech on Thursday for American and allied forces attempting to contain his group’s campaign to disrupt global commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

The Houthis, as Ansarallah is commonly known, declared war on Israel in October as a gesture of solidarity with the Sunni jihadist organization Hamas in the aftermath of Hamas’s mass murder spree in Israel that month, killing an estimated 1,200 and destroying entire residential communities. In November, the Houthis announced they would begin striking commercial ships transiting through the nearby Bab el-Mandeb Strait connecting the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, vowing only to persecute ships facilitating business with Israel.

They expanded their targets to include American and British ships following the announcement that the two militaries would engage in airstrikes in Yemen to degrade the Houthis’ ability to disrupt shipping. In reality, however, the Houthis have bombed a growing number of ships with no clear relationship to Israel, Britain, or America, resulting in skyrocketing shipping rates and several major shipping companies avoiding the region altogether.

Houthi, the leader of the Shiite Houthi terror gang, claimed in his address to Yemen on Thursday that his group had “launched 384 missiles and drones at the ships that were moving towards the occupying regime [Israel],” attacking 54 ships.

He boasted that the attacks would continue and airstrikes by U.S. and U.K. forces had done nothing to prevent them, according to a translation of his remarks by the Iranian state propaganda outlet PressTV.

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“The American and British attacks have not affected our military power in any way. On the contrary, the process of increasing and expanding our attacks continues,” Houthi said. “The Americans are now admitting their failure to achieve their aggressive goals against our country and are surprised by our strength.”

Houthi appeared to be referring to comments by leftist President Joe Biden in which he openly admitted that poorly planned strikes on alleged Houthi targets in Yemen had not materially improved the situation in the Red Sea. Asked by reporters on January 18 if the strikes were working, the president replied, “Well, when you say ‘working,’ are they stopping the Houthis? No. Are they going to continue? Yes.”

“Our military operations will continue and advance and we have surprises that our enemies will not expect at all,” Houthi promised on Thursday.

Elsewhere in his speech, the Houthi leader complained that he considered the response of the Muslim world to the Israeli self-defense operations against Hamas meager, demanding other nations organize bolder attacks to expedite the destruction of the Israeli state.

A Yemeni protestor lifts his dagger with a poster depicting the picture of the Houthi leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi as he takes part in a rally on February 23, 2024, in Sana’a, Yemen. (Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images)

“Genocide and heinous crimes in Palestine reveal the truth of Zionists’ hatred of Muslims, especially Arabs. The Arabs are the first to be targeted by the Zionist Jews and they should act quickly… unfortunately, among the Arabs, they are very indifferent to the conspiracies against them,” PressTV quoted Houthi as saying.

“Why is the Islamic Ummah‘s [community] level of support for the Palestinian people not the same as that of the United States and the West for the Zionist enemy?” he asked.

Houthi addressed world leaders from the position of self-proclaimed head of the Yemeni government. The Houthis, a Shiite terrorist organization, stormed the capital, Sana’a, and ousted the legitimate government of Yemen to the southern port city of Aden, where it has remained since 2014. The Houthis have never been the internationally recognized government of Yemen, however, and remain entrenched in a civil war against the legitimate government in which neighboring powers, most prominently Saudi Arabia, have backed the true government of the state.

Contrary to Houthi’s claims, however, Saudi Arabia and other neighboring Muslim states have taken a stridently anti-Israel stance since October 7, the day Hamas invaded the country and committed the worst terrorist siege in its modern history. In November, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – who had previously entertained normalization with Israel – demanded Israel give up part of its capital, East Jerusalem, to the creation of a Palestinian state.

The establishment of “Palestine” is a core demand of Hamas, though Hamas also calls for the full destruction of Israel to make room for the hypothetical Palestinian country. Other Muslim nations have condemned Israel’s attempts to protect itself from Hamas in multiple international venues, such as the United Nations and the Arab League.

RELATED: Reporter Tries to Accuse U.S. of “Escalation” in Red Sea; Kirby Pushes Back

The White House / YouTube

Abdul Malik al-Houthi’s comments on Thursday appeared to be meant to keep the morale of his terrorist henchmen high. A week ago, Houthi delivered a similar address in which he celebrated that the group’s disruption of global shipping was “continuing, escalating, and effective,” and reiterated his false claims that the Houthis would not target ships unrelated to Israel, America, or Britain.

The latest episode of conflict in the Red Sea was reported on Tuesday, in which the Houthis reportedly attacked a Marshall Islands-flagged, Greek-owned bulk carrier off the coast of Yemen, but failed to significantly damage it. That attack followed a flurry of bombings in mid-February targeting a variety of commercial cargo ships. The most severely affected, the British-owned MV Rubymar, was abandoned on February 22 as it took on water, left to sink in the Gulf of Aden.

The attacks have continued despite the establishment by the Biden Pentagon of “Operation Prosperity Guardian” in December, which allegedly brought together nearly two dozen nations to protect free shipping in the Middle East. The Biden administration never fully revealed the list of participants in “Operation Prosperity Guardian” or how they would participate, and the operation has yet to document any major victories in protecting shipping from the Houthis. Many of the most effective airstrikes against the Houthis on Yemeni soil are joint American-British operations that the military distinctly identifies as not part of “Operation Prosperity Guardian.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.


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