Houthi rebels vowed "escalation" in reaction to U.S. and U.K. strikes launched in Yemen on Sunday.
A spokesman for the Iran-backed group vowed to continue its campaign of disrupting regional trade "no matter the sacrifices it costs us." The U.S. and U.K. launched a series of attacks on Houthi targets in Yemen this weekend in reaction to a lethal drone attack on a U.S. base in Jordan last week.
"The US-British coalition’s bombing of a number of Yemeni provinces will not change our position, and we affirm that our military operations against Israel will continue until the crimes of genocide in Gaza are stopped and the siege on its residents is lifted, no matter the sacrifices it costs us," Houthi spokesman Mohammed al-Bukhaiti wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Houthi fighters man heavy machine guns mounted on vehicles at a rally in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and the recent Houthi strikes on shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden on February 4, 2024, on the outskirts of Sana'a, Yemen. (Pho
"Our war is moral, and if we had not intervened to support the oppressed in Gaza, humanity would not have existed among humans. The American-British aggression against Yemen will not go unanswered, and we will meet escalation with escalation," he added.
Tensions in the region have skyrocketed since three U.S. soldiers were killed in the attack in Jordan. President Biden vowed an ongoing response, targeting Iran-backed groups in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan also refused to rule out the possibility of carrying out strikes within Iran in the near future on Sunday.
A screen grab captured from a video shows the UK military aircraft taking off for strikes against Iran-linked Houthis in Yemen on February 05, 2024 in Akrotiri, Cyprus. (Photo by Defense Ministry of United Kingdom / Handout /Anadolu via Getty Images)
"The president has approached this with a straightforward principle, which is that the United States will step up and respond when our forces are attacked. And the United States also is not looking for a wider war in the Middle East. We are not looking to take the United States to war. So we are going to continue to pursue a policy that goes down both of those lines simultaneously, that responds with force and clarity, as we did on Friday night, but also that continues to hew to an approach that does not get the United States pulled into a war, that we have seen too frequently in the Middle East," Sullivan told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union."
"Inside Iran? Would you rule that out at this point?" Bash asked.
"Look, sitting on a national TV program, I'm not going to rule in and rule out any activity anywhere. What I am going to say is that the president will do what he thinks needs to be done and again, reinforce the point that he's going to defend our forces, and also that he is not looking to get into a war," Sullivan said.
Meanwhile, tensions between Israel and Hezbollah threaten to open another front in Israel's current war against Hamas. Hezbollah, an Iran-backed terror group in Lebanon, has launched hundreds of missiles across Israel's northern border since Oct. 7, and Israeli military officials warned Sunday that they would not hesitate to invade.
"We do not choose war as our first priority, but we are certainly prepared," IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said. "We will continue to act wherever Hezbollah is present, we will continue to act wherever it is required in the Middle East. What is true for Lebanon is true for Syria, and is true for other more distant places."
Fox News' Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.