Warning of attack on Rafah, Houthis announce fourth stage of escalation against Israel

Yemen’s Houthis on Friday announced the start of the fourth escalation of the offensive in solidarity with Gaza against the backdrop of “Israel’s serious preparations to carry out an active military operation” against the city of Rafah in the southern Palestinian area did.

The group’s military spokesperson, Yahya Salih, confirmed this in a statement read in front of tens of thousands of demonstrators in the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa expressing solidarity with Gaza.

The statement came hours after the group’s leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi announced Thursday night that he was “preparing for a fourth escalation” if Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip continues. It was done.

The first phase of the Houthis’ military escalation began last October with missiles and drones targeting strongholds in southern Israel, before the group targeted ships affiliated with or associated with Israel in November last year. We have moved on to the second stage.

The third phase has targeted American and British vessels in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea since the beginning of this year.

“We are closely monitoring developments in the conflict in the Gaza Strip, including continued Israeli and American aggression and serious preparations to carry out offensive military operations against the Rafah area,” Salih said. did.

He added: “We are also following the suggestion to the resistance that the enemy wants to pull the prisoner of war card without a permanent ceasefire.”

According to the same statement, he said the fourth stage of the escalation would include “targeting all vessels that violate Israel’s navigation embargo and travel from the Mediterranean to occupied Palestinian ports in areas controlled by Houthi forces. included.”

He added: “If Israel’s enemies intend to launch an offensive military operation against Rafah, we will continue to protect all companies, regardless of their nationality, that are involved in supplying or accessing occupied Palestinian ports.” “We will impose comprehensive sanctions on all vessels.”

He noted that at this stage of escalation, his group would prevent “all vessels of companies associated with occupied ports from passing through our operational area, regardless of their destination.”

“Until the invasion stops and the siege on the Palestinian people in Gaza is lifted, we will not hesitate to prepare for a broader and stronger escalation,” he threatened.

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