By Fatos Bytyci
PRISTINA (Reuters) – Attacks on cargo vessels in Red Sea shipping lanes have to stop otherwise international action will be taken, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said on Thursday.
Recent attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis have drawn international condemnation, with Britain, the United States and others issuing a joint statement on Wednesday warning that there would be consequences to any further attacks.
Houthis, who control much of Yemen including the capital, have since October attacked commercial vessels in the Red Sea. They say the vessels have Israeli links or are sailing to Israel and they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.
“This is illegal. It’s not to do with Gaza, it’s not to do with Israel. This is about the freedom of navigation. This is about the ability of ships to carry their cargo,” he told reporters during a trip to Kosovo.
“The world economy, every economy, will suffer if ships keep coming under attack in this illegal and unacceptable way. And these attacks need to stop or actions will be taken.”
When asked, Cameron declined to specify what action Britain would take or whether it would send more Navy ships to the region. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has previously said Britain is willing to take “direct action”.
(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci in Pristina, writing by William James in London, Editing by Kylie MacLellan and Elizabeth Piper)