Yemen says to turn Red Sea into ‘graveyard’

Yemen’s Defense Minister Major General Mohammad al-Atifi has denounced the formation of a US-led maritime task force in the Red Sea to protect the passage of merchant vessels bound for the Israeli-occupied territories, cautioning the Western alliance that any assault on Yemeni soil would have dire consequences.

“We are in possession of munitions and military gear that can sink your warships, submarines and aircraft carriers,” al-Atifi said on Tuesday.

“The Yemeni Armed Forces will turn the Red Sea into a graveyard of the US-led coalition if the alliance decides to take any action against Yemen,” he added.

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin has announced the formation of the coalition – including Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, Spain and the UK – to patrol the Red Sea in response to Yemeni strikes on ships bound for the Israeli-occupied territories, which came in retaliation for the Tel Aviv regime’s war on the Gaza Strip.

Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement has also pledged to confront the US-led coalition, stressing that Washington will experience both military and prestige defeats if it attacks Yemen.

“The Yemeni Armed Forces have painful options, which they will employ in response to any act of aggression against their homeland. We only target ships that are either Israeli-owned or heading towards Israeli ports,” said Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a member of Ansarullah’s political bureau.

Bukhaiti stressed that Yemen stands fairly committed to safe navigation at sea, adding, “We are only acting against the interests of the Zionist regime. We will confront any coalition that Washington establishes in the Red Sea.”

The senior Yemeni official noted that negotiations are underway through intermediaries with a number of countries, including the United States, to persuade Yemeni forces to stop their retaliatory operations.

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