UK and International Response to Houthis in the Red Sea 2024 is a House of Commons Library research briefing.

On January 11, 2024, the US and UK launched air and naval strikes on Houthi sites in Yemen in response to its ongoing attacks on Red Sea shipping. The US has since made four more separate strikes against the group.

Beginning in November 2023, the Houthis have been launching attacks against ships it says are linked to Israel, causing shipping to be diverted away from the Red Sea, threatening trade and freedom of navigation. The Houthis are one of several Iran-aligned armed groups in the Middle East, which also include Hezbollah in Lebanon and Shia militias in Iraq, who have been conducting attacks against Israel, Israeli-linked ships, and US forces and military bases since the Hamas assault on Israel on 7 October 2023.

The January 2024 strikes follow warnings by the UK Defence Secretary that the UK was prepared to use military force to stop the Houthi attacks and a UN Security Council Resolution demanding a halt to them.

This research briefing provides an overview of the Houthis, detailing their identity, recent attacks, the UK/US January strikes, their legal basis, and the international response.

UK and International Response to Houthis in the Red Sea 2024 contains the following major sections:

  • Who are the Houthis?
  • Houthi Attacks since 7 October 2023
  • UN and international statements
  • UK statements and Red Sea presence
  • UK and US military strikes: UK and international response
  • Sanctions and arms embargoes against the Houthis

There are no noted distribution statements in this government document.

Post Image- Old Globe Map of the Middle East (Image Credit: Adobe Stock by Alex Yeung)