Houthi rebels Escalate Conflict: Leader Claims Operations in Indian Ocean

Houthis Claims Operations in Indian Ocean

19th April 2024

Report : Yemeni Houthi rebels signal wider conflict zone with Indian Ocean activity claim

Dubai, UAE – April 18, 2024 – The leader of Yemen’s Houthi rebels, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, has raised tensions in the region by claiming his group conducted “operations” in the Indian Ocean and towards southern Israel. This announcement follows a string of attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, targeting vessels allegedly linked to Israel.

Al-Houthi’s televised speech on Thursday marked a significant escalation in the ongoing conflict. He detailed 14 operations carried out in just two weeks across the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Bab al-Mandeb Strait, and now, the Indian Ocean. The exact nature of these operations remains unclear, but previous attacks have involved missiles and drones targeting commercial and naval ships.

The Houthis, who receive backing from Iran, have repeatedly justified these attacks as a response to Israeli actions against Palestinians in Gaza. Al-Houthi claimed they aimed to disrupt the passage of ships “linked to the Israeli enemy” through the Red Sea and beyond. However, he attempted to reassure non-Israeli maritime traffic, stating, “There is no danger to maritime traffic related to (ships linked to) European countries that are not heading to Israel.”

Houthi rebels Indian Ocean

Independent verification of the Houthi claims is difficult. Security analysts have cast doubt on the extent of their attacks in the past, with some suggesting they exaggerate their success. However, the mere threat of disruption to vital shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean is a cause for concern. The Indian Ocean is a critical artery for global trade, carrying vast quantities of oil and other goods.

Also Read : Missile Attack on India-Bound Tanker Raises Red Sea Tensions

The international community has condemned the Houthi attacks on shipping and urged all sides to de-escalate the conflict. The United Nations has called for a ceasefire in Yemen’s devastating civil war, which has entered its ninth year. The war has caused a humanitarian crisis, with millions facing hunger and disease.

The Houthis’ expansion of their operations into the Indian Ocean raises the stakes in the Yemeni conflict. It could lead to a wider confrontation, potentially drawing in other regional players. The potential for disruptions to critical shipping routes further complicates the situation.


The Houthis’ claim of operations in the Indian Ocean marks a worrying development in the Yemeni conflict. It underscores the group’s growing boldness and raises the risk of a regional escalation. The international community must redouble its efforts to secure a ceasefire in Yemen and prevent further destabilization in the strategically important Indian Ocean.

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