US admin. officials cautious about responding to Red Sea operations
Senior Biden administration officials agree that it does not make sense for the US military to engage with Ansar Allah directly.
Senior officials in the Biden administration are in agreement that, at present, taking military action against the Yemeni Ansar Allah movement is not the appropriate course of action, Politico cited three US officials as saying.
The Yemeni Armed Forces announced targeting the Israeli-owned Unity Explorer and Number 9 vessels in Bab al-Mandab Strait off the coast of Yemen, confirming direct hits on both.
In a statement, the spokesperson for the Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, confirmed that Yemen's military carried out two attacks on Sunday morning on Israeli-owned ships in the Bab al-Mandab Strait.
Saree said while the Yemeni Armed Forces hit the Unity Explorer with an anti-ship missile, the Number 9 vessel came under attack via a sea drone.
"The [operations] came after the refusal of the two ships to heed to the [warnings] from the Yemeni Naval Forces," Saree underlined.
Despite some military officers proposing more robust responses to the attacks in the Red Sea, there is a consensus at the highest levels of the administration that it does not make sense for the US military to engage with Ansar Allah directly, the news website revealed.
Although military officers responsible for US operations in the Middle East have developed options for responding to Ansar Allah, these options are not actively being advocated at this time, as stated by one official and a fourth American official.
Earlier on Tuesday at dawn, the US State Department confirmed that its special envoy to Yemen, Timothy Lenderking, will travel to the Gulf this week to coordinate efforts in securing maritime security in the Red Sea. The announcement came after White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced on Monday that the US is in discussions with "other countries" to create a maritime task force in the Red Sea aiming to secure the safe passage of commercial ships.
While the military presents various options to senior commanders, the final decision rests with the US president and the administration's political appointees. Despite high-level meetings throughout the week, according to two officials, the Pentagon has neither briefed US President Joe Biden on potential actions against Ansar Allah targets nor recommended such actions.
Senior Biden administration officials, while acknowledging the threat to US troops, remain unconvinced that a military response is necessary. They believe that the Ansar Allah movement was attempting to target assets with connections to the Israeli occupation, either owned by Israeli companies or crewed by Israelis, rather than US warships, Politico mentioned.
Additionally, senior officials across the government are concerned that a significant strike on Ansar Allah positions could jeopardize efforts to broker a new ceasefire between Saudi forces and Ansar Allah in Yemen, according to a fifth US official and a lawmaker.
It is noteworthy that the member of the Political Council of the Yemeni Ansar Allah Movement, Mohammad al-Bukhaiti, confirmed on Tuesday that Yemen’s military operations in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea have declared humanitarian goals that are clear to everyone and only target Israeli ships.