Rishi Sunak issues bold warning to Houthi rebels as UK threatens further strikes

Rishi Sunak issues bold warning to Houthi rebels as UK threatens further strikes
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke


Published: 23/01/2024

- 12:40

Updated: 23/01/2024

- 14:04

The Prime Minister said the UK will not 'stand by and allow things to go unchallenged'

Rishi Sunak has issued a warning to Houthi rebels in Yemen, threatening further strikes if the attacks continue.

Giving a statement in the House of Commons, he said: "I want to be very clear. We are not seeking a confrontation.


"We urge the Houthis and those who enable them to stop these illegal and unacceptable attacks.

“But, if necessary, the United Kingdom will not hesitate to respond again in self-defence.

Sunak

Rishi Sunak has issued a warning to Houthi rebels in Yemen, threatening further strikes if the attacks continue

PA

"We cannot stand by and allow these attacks to go unchallenged. Inaction is also a choice.”

The UK and US last night launched a second round of strikes on Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The Pentagon said the strikes hit eight targets, including an underground storage site and Houthi missile and surveillance capability.

The Houthis have been targeting ships in Red Sea, which they claim are linked to Israel and the West.

The Prime Minister told the Commons: “At my order overnight, the RAF engaged in a second wave of strikes against Houthi military targets in Yemen.

“We did so because we continue to see, including in intelligence, an ongoing and imminent threat from the Houthis to UK commercial and military vessels, and to those of our partners in the Red Sea and wider region.”

Sunak insisted the strikes were in line with international law, adding they were “limited to carefully selected targets with maximum care taken to protect civilian lives”.

He told the Commons that MPs would have a chance for a “full debate on our broader approach in the Red Sea tomorrow”.

The PM said: “We took extensive steps to address this threat to international security before taking military action.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he fully supports the "targeted action to reinforce maritime security in the Red Sea", adding: "We must stand united and strong."

Starmer said: "The Houthi attacks must stop. They are designed to destabilise us - so we must stand united and strong.

"They bring danger to ordinary civilians working hard at sea, so we must protect them".

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