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‘We’ll back words with actions’: Cameron says Britain could strike Houthis in Yemen again

todayJanuary 14, 2024 3

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‘We’ll back words with actions’: Cameron says Britain could strike Houthis in Yemen again

Britain could strike Houthi targets in Yemen again if the rebel group continues to attack ships in the Red Sea, the foreign secretary has suggested.

Lord Cameron warned the Iran-linked fighters could force up prices in Britain if they are allowed to block the passage of container ships in the busy trade route.

The US struck another site in Yemen early on Saturday after the Houthis vowed revenge for the bombing raid carried out by the Americans and the RAF a day earlier.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Lord Cameron said the joint action “will have gone some way to degrade Houthi capabilities built up with Iranian backing”.

Middle East crisis – latest: Footage shows moment RAF jet strikes targets in Yemen

He argued that not acting would be accepting that Houthi attacks could “virtually shut a vital sea lane with relative impunity”.

“If the Houthis deny this passage to ships, vital supply chains are threatened and prices will go up in Britain and across the globe.”

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Satellite pictures show Yemen strikes

Lord Cameron said the airstrikes “sent an unambiguous message” to the Houthis that “we are determined to put a stop” to their Red Sea attacks.

And he hinted that Britain could join the US in striking the Houthis again if they continue.

“We will work with allies. We will always defend the freedom of navigation. And, crucially, we will be prepared to back words with actions,” he said.

Read more from Sky News:
Why have the UK and US launched strikes on Yemen and who are the Houthis?
Strikes against Houthis draw Britain and America closer to Iran confrontation

Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer defended his support for the strikes, which Rishi Sunak ordered without first consulting parliament, as prime ministers sometimes do before military interventions.

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This was ‘message to Iran’ as well, says Lord Cameron

Writing for the Independent, the Labour leader argued that “protecting trade, security and lives are paramount to our national interest”.

He said the prime minister “must make a full statement” to the Commons when it returns on Monday, but stressed the need for swift military action.

Sir Keir was facing some criticism from the left over his support for the strikes.

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Diane Abbott, who was Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow home secretary but now sits as an independent, said: “In 2020 Keir Starmer said no more illegal wars.

“He said that he would only back war if it was legal, had a viable objective and parliament gave consent.

“The current military action on Yemen has none of these yet he supports it.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the Mail On Sunday the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea show the world is “becoming more challenging” and is “probably the most unstable it has been in decades”.

“It is also more complex. My job is to make sure the British people are safe. Can we afford to do these things? We can’t afford not to,” he added.

Lord Cameron will be appearing on Sky News’ Trevor Phillips on Sunday Morning programme from 8.30am.

Written by: Newsroom

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