In a significant development, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has convened an emergency cabinet meeting tonight to discuss potential airstrikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
According to reports from Mail Online, UK aircraft and Navy ships may join forces with the United States in conducting the strikes.
Earlier this morning, a Cobra meeting involving senior ministers took place, with members of the National Security Council engaging in discussions scheduled to continue into the night.
The focus of these discussions is expected to revolve around the planned airstrikes, and Mr. Sunak is set to brief his cabinet team during the evening meeting at 7:45 pm.
Tensions have escalated in recent days as the Houthi rebels persist in targeting shipping in the Red Sea.
Another Royal Navy warship, the Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond, has been dispatched to the region, further underscoring the gravity of the situation.
Admiral Lord West, the former First Sea Lord, emphasized the need for the UK and US to demonstrate that ‘enough is enough’ following incidents where drones and missiles, launched from the Arabian state, were intercepted by HMS Diamond and American warships.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a warning of ‘consequences’ if the Houthi attacks persist, urging Iran to cease its support for the rebels.
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps echoed these sentiments, asserting that there is ‘no doubt’ Tehran is involved in providing weapons and intelligence for attacks linked to the Israeli military assault in Gaza.
Speaking to Talk TV, Lord West stressed the necessity of a proactive stance, stating, ‘We can’t just sit there letting them take pot shots… we’ve got to make it clear to them that this is not allowed.’
Defence Secretary Shapps, addressing the recent Houthi attack on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, described it as ‘the largest to date.’
HMS Diamond successfully repelled the assault with Sea Viper missiles, and the US Navy also engaged, shooting down 21 Houthi missiles and drones.
Shapps conveyed a stern message to the Houthi rebels, asserting, ‘We must be clear with the Houthis that this has to stop.’
He emphasized the UK’s commitment to protecting innocent lives and the global economy, adding that none of HMS Diamond’s crew were injured during the operation.
As tensions rise and diplomatic efforts continue, the world watches closely to see how the UK and its allies navigate the complex situation in the Middle East.