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Saudi Arabia urges US caution amid Houthi attacks in Red Sea

Washington, United States: The authorities of Saudi Arabia have asked the authorities of the United States to be careful and cautious while responding to the attacks by Yemen’s Houthis on the ships in the Red Sea. This statement has been released as an effort to control the situation in the region in the midst of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

It is to be known that Houthis have waded into the conflict, which has disturbed the Middle East region since the beginning of the conflict on October 7. According to the reports by Reuters, the militant group has stated that it will continue to attack the territory until the Israeli authorities stop attacking the Gaza Strip.

Who is Houthis?

It is to be noted that Houthis are among the various groups that fall under the Iran-aligned “Axis of Resistance,” which has been continuously attacking Israel and its allies, including the United States, since the beginning of the conflict.

Several reports have underlined that the Yemen-based militant group has been showing its support towards the Palestinian-aided Hamas – which began the war with Israel after launching a surprise attack. Their continuous attacks have added fuel to the regional conflict, which can be threatening for the ship lanes, the transport medium to ship oil.

Concerns by the authorities of the Riyadh

The State has also shown worry on the Red Sea as Houthi rockets and drones fly toward Israel, according to Reuters. The world’s top oil exporter, Riyadh, has watched with alarm as missile attacks have been launched by Houthi over its territory.

Map Representation of Red Sea and states neighbouring it
Map Representation of Red Sea and states neighbouring it

As the Houthis increased their attacks on ships in recent weeks, two individuals familiar with Saudi perspectives mentioned that Riyadh’s plea for restraint to Washington is intended to prevent things from getting worse. The sources also mentioned that Riyadh is currently satisfied with how the United States is managing the situation.

Reportedly, one of the sources stated, “They pressed the Americans about this and why the Gaza conflict should stop.”

However, any comment on the situation has been declined by the White House. And the Saudi government has also not responded to Reuters’ request.

Amidst Saudi Arabia’s advocacy for a ceasefire to quell what it stated a “barbaric war” in Gaza, its diplomatic maneuvers mirror a broader strategy aimed at fostering regional stability following years of contention with Iran and its affiliates.

Dedicating attention to the expansion and diversification of the Saudi economy, Riyadh, within this year, normalized relations with Tehran and endeavors to extricate itself from the protracted conflict with the Houthis in Yemen, spanning almost a decade.

Insiders suggest that Saudi Arabia is actively pushing forward the Yemen peace process, even as conflict rages in Gaza, expressing concerns that it might face derailment. Yemen has experienced over a year of relative tranquillity due to direct peace negotiations between Saudi and Houthi representatives.

| President of the United States Joe Biden with Representative of Saudi Arabia |

Houthi assaults during the Hamas-Israel conflict have elevated their prominence within the Iran-aligned faction, comprising Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and Iran-backed militias in Iraq.

The Houthis have emerged as a significant military force in the Arabian Peninsula, boasting tens of thousands of fighters and an extensive arsenal of ballistic missiles and armed drones.

Sources within the Iran-aligned faction informed Reuters that Houthi attacks aim to exert pressure on Washington to persuade Israel to cease the Gaza offensive, a shared objective with Saudi Arabia and other regional nations.

A Tehran-based source revealed that Houthi representatives discussed their attacks with Iranian officials during a November meeting in Tehran. They agreed to conduct actions in a “controlled” manner to contribute to ending the Gaza war. The source received a briefing on the matter.

Another source clarified that Tehran does not seek an “all-out war in the region” that could risk direct involvement.

Despite a request for comment, a Houthi spokesperson remained silent. Iran, for its part, denied any involvement in the attacks and did not respond to inquiries about the Houthi assaults.

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