03:07 GMT04 December 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States expressed concern after Yemen's Houthis attacked a ship in international waters and accused the militant group of trying to escalate the conflict in the country, the White House said in a press release on Wednesday.

    "The United States is very concerned about the Houthis' latest attempt to escalate the war in Yemen, this time by attacking a commercial vessel while it transited one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, the Bab al-Mandab, in international waters," the release said. "The Iranian regime continues to perpetuate the conflict and provide destabilizing weapons to the Houthis."

    The Houthis need to stop the escalation and show they are committed to a peace process, the release added.

    READ MORE: Houthis Violate Laws of War by Launching Missiles at Saudi Arabia — HRW

    On Tuesday, the Houthis said that the unsuccessful attack on the Saudi oil tanker came in response to the Saudi-led coalition’s strike on the city of Hodeida which killed a dozen civilians.

    READ MORE: Houthis Target Saudi Oil Carrier in Red Sea — Reports

    Yemen has been engulfed in a violent conflict between the government headed by Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement, also known as Ansar Allah.

    Since March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request. Millions of Yemenis remain in need of immediate humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations.


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