Campaign Response: UK Strikes Against Houthi Military Targets

I have been contacted by constituents about UK Strikes Against Houthi Military Targets.

As the Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes South, I have included below my response:

Since 19 November, Iran-backed Houthis have launched over 30 illegal and unacceptable attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, and on 9 January they mounted a direct attack against British and American warships. This was the biggest attack on the Royal Navy for decades.

In response to these continued attacks against vessels transiting the Red Sea, the UK and the USA, with support from the Netherlands, Canada, Bahrain, and Australia, conducted joint strikes in accordance with the inherent right of individual and collective self-defence, consistent with the UN Charter, against a number of targets in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on 11 January, 22 January and most recently on 3 February.

These strikes were carefully targeted at launch sites for drones and ballistic missiles to degrade the Houthis’ capacity to make further attacks on international shipping. The most recent strikes specifically targeted a Houthi underground storage site and locations associated with the Houthis’ missile and air surveillance capabilities.

This action was limited, and not escalatory. It was a necessary and proportionate response to a direct threat to UK vessels, and therefore to the UK itself.

The Red Sea is one of the major arteries of international trade: some 15 per cent of the world’s shipping passes through the narrow strait dividing Africa from Asia. If the Houthis deny this passage to ships, vital supply chains are threatened and prices will go up in Britain and across the globe.

The Houthis’ malign narrative that this is about Israel and Gaza should not be believed; they target ships from around the world. The UK continues to work towards a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza and to get more aid to civilians and continues to support a negotiated settlement to Yemen’s civil war. I want to make clear that the UK’s strikes against Houthi targets were unrelated to these issues.

Thank you to those constituents who took the time to contact me about this issue.