Houthis hijacking a ship they said was tied to Israel last month
Houthis hijacking a ship they said was tied to Israel last monthScreenshot

Saudi Arabia has asked the United States to show restraint in responding to attacks by Yemen's Houthis against ships in the Red Sea, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing two sources familiar with Saudi thinking.

Since the war between Israel and Hamas began, the Iranian-backed rebel group has upped its attacks on vessels traveling near the Yemeni coast.

According to the report, the sources said that Riyadh's message of restraint to the US was aimed to avoid further escalation. Riyadh was so far pleased with the way the United States was handling the situation, the sources added.

"They pressed the Americans about this and why the Gaza conflict should stop," one of the sources said.

The White House declined to comment.

The Saudi government did not respond to an emailed request for a comment on the discussions.

Earlier this week, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said that Houthi rebels in Yemen attacked three commercial vessels in the Red Sea, promising “appropriate responses” to the attacks.

“Today, there were four attacks against three separate commercial vessels operating in international waters in the southern Red Sea. These three vessels are connected to 14 separate nations. The Arleigh-Burke Class destroyer USS CARNEY responded to the distress calls from the ships and provided assistance,” said CENTCOM in a statement.

The statement added that "these attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security. They have jeopardized the lives of international crews representing multiple countries around the world. We also have every reason to believe that these attacks, while launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran. The United States will consider all appropriate responses in full coordination with its international allies and partners.”