UN Warns Against Escalation in the Red Sea

Sudan Events – Sumaya Sayed

The U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Khaled Khiari, called for the Security Council to continue its efforts to prevent escalation of conflict in the Middle East as Yemen’s Houthis vowed fierce retaliation for recent U.S.-led strikes.
“These developments in the Red Sea and the risk of exacerbating regional tensions are alarming,” said Khiari.
“We call on this council to continue its efforts in actively engaging with all concerned parties to prevent further escalation from exacerbating regional tensions or undermining regional peace, security or international trade,” he added.
The U.S. Navy on Friday warned American-flagged vessels to steer clear of areas around Yemen in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden for the next 72 hours after the U.S. and Britain launched multiple airstrikes targeting Houthi rebels.
The warning in a notice to shippers came as Yemen’s Houthis vowed fierce retaliation for the U.S.-led strikes, further raising the prospect of a wider conflict in a region already beset by Israel’s war in Gaza.
U.S. military and White House officials said they expected the Houthis to try to strike back. And President Joe Biden warned on Friday that the group could face further strikes.
The U.S.-led bombardment — launched in response to a recent campaign of drone and missile attacks on commercial ships in the vital Red Sea — killed at least five people and wounded six, the Houthis said. The U.S. said the strikes, in two waves, took aim at targets in 28 different locations across Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.
The White House said in November that it was considering redesignating the Houthis as a terrorist organization after they began their targeting of civilian vessels. The administration formally delisted the Houthis as a “foreign terrorist organization” and “specially designated global terrorists” in 2021, undoing a move by President Donald Trump.

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