UK Prime Minister RISHI SUNAK calls for emergency Cabinet meeting as Ministers plot airstrikes in response to attacks from Yemen

Thursday, January 11, 2024
 – UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called for an emergency cabinet meeting tonight with ministers plotting airstrikes against the Houthis in Yemen.

According to Mail Online, UK aircraft and Navy ships could take part in the strikes alongside the US.

A Cobra meeting between senior ministers was held earlier this morning with members of the National Security Council holding discussions tonight.

Mr Sunak is expected to brief his cabinet team about the planned strikes during this evening's meeting which is scheduled to take place at 7.45pm.

Talk of a joint attack by the US and UK on the Houthi rebels has heightened in recent days as they continue to target shipping in the Red Sea.

Another Royal Navy warship was en route to the Red Sea yesterday amid warnings the West is 'almost certain' to launch strikes on Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond left Gibraltar amid a build up of forces in the region between Africa and Arabia.

Admiral Lord West, the former First Sea Lord, said that the UK and US has to show that 'enough is enough' after drones and missiles launched from the Arabian state were shot down by HMS Diamond and American warships.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last night warned of 'consequences' if the Houthis continue and called on Iran to end their support for the rebels.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps also said there was 'no doubt' Tehran was involved and providing weapons and intelligence for attacks linked to the Israeli military assault in Gaza, telling Sky News: 'Watch this space'.

Speaking to Talk TV, Lord West said: 'I think we're in a position now where we can't just sit there shooting down missiles, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, drones being fired at our warships but also at peaceful merchant ships, most of which have nothing to do with Israel at all and we can't just sit there letting them take pot shots, shooting them down at immense cost… we've got to make it clear to them that this is not allowed.

'They can't disrupt world trade in this way and I think the answer is, in self defence terms, if someone fires missiles at you from a site, that site is perfectly valid as a target for you and I think probably using the USS Eisenhower… we can carry out attacks on the sites within Yemen.'

Mr Shapps warned Houthi rebels to end their attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea after British and American warships were forced to repel a huge wave of missiles and drones from the Iran-backed militants.

HMS Diamond shot down the targets with a barrage of Sea Viper missiles - which travel three times the speed of sound. The US Navy shot down 21 Houthi missiles and drones and US fighter jets were also involved in the operation.

Mr Shapps told Sky News: 'We must be clear with the Houthis that this has to stop and that is my simple message to them today: Watch this space'.

He also told reporters: 'My understanding is that both the ship itself potentially was targeted... but also that there's a generalised attack on all shipping (in the region).'

Mr Shapps called the Houthi attack 'the largest to date' and said the UK had taken action to 'protect innocent lives and the global economy'. He said none of HMS Diamond's crew had been injured. 

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