Thank you to all those who have contacted me about airstrikes against Houthi targets in Yemen in response to repeated Houthi attacks against international shipping in the Red Sea.

These Houthi attacks must stop. They are designed to destabilise us, bring danger to ordinary civilians working hard at sea, and disrupt the flow of goods, food and medicines. The Houthis are an extreme organisation which has not only harmed Yemenis, but whose attacks have terrible consequences for countries which rely on the Red Sea.

It is my belief that the airstrikes so far have been justified. The action taken by the UK and the US has been proportionate, with the international community acting together to condemn the Houthi actions, uphold international law and reinforce maritime security in the Red Sea. The attacks so far have been targeted, necessary and devised to minimise the risk to civilian life. For context, as of 1 February 2024, the UK Government states it is not aware of any civilian casualties.

It is important for the Government to continue to show how these airstrikes are effective in reducing Houthi capabilities, and how the Government will guard against escalation risks. While military strikes can reduce the immediate threat to navigation, there must also be a wider political and diplomatic strategy to counter the Houthi threat.

The people of Yemen have experienced horrific suffering with the terrible civil war and appalling humanitarian crisis that has unfolded as a result. I want the UK Government to provide further assistance to the people of Yemen.

It is difficult to judge whether the Houthi attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea are linked to the conflict in Gaza. The Houthis have been attacking oil tankers and ships for at least five years, not just since the Hamas terrorist attacks on 7 October 2023. Moreover, if it is connected, I fail to see how this is beneficial for the Palestinian people.

I appreciate constituents sharing their views with me and I will continue to monitor developments on this issue moving forward.

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