Houthi terrorists
Houthi terroristsREUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed on Monday they had arrested members of an “American-Israeli spy network”, The Associated Press reported.

Maj. Gen. Abdulhakim al-Khayewani, head of the Houthis’ intelligence agency, announced the arrests, claiming the spy network had first operated out of the US Embassy in Sanaa. Then after it was closed in 2015 following the Houthi takeover of the capital Sanaa and northern Yemen, they continued “their subversive agenda under the cover of international and UN organizations,” he claimed.

He did not say how many people were arrested. Houthi authorities issued what they purported to be videotaped confessions by 10 Yemenis, several of whom said they were recruited by the US Embassy.

Al-Khayewani depicted the spy network as having worked for decades to infiltrate Yemen’s economy, agriculture, health system and other sectors to destroy them, according to AP.

The arrests come as the Houthis continue their attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, which they have increased since the start of the war in Gaza, as well as firing rockets in the direction of Israel.

In the wake of the uptick in Houthi attacks, the US formed a coalition, made up of more than 20 countries, aimed at safeguarding commercial traffic in the Red Sea from attacks by the Houthis.

In mid-January, with support from other countries, the US and Britain targeted just under 30 Houthi locations with 150 different weapons. They have since carried out several rounds of strikes against Houthi targets.

The Houthis have been unfazed by the strikes, saying that the campaign against the "Zionist enemy" will continue and that the attacks against the American and British ships will not stop.

Last Wednesday, the Houthis published a video showing what they claimed was a Palestine-type ballistic missile that was launched towards Eilat this week and which was intercepted by the Arrow system.

A day later, the leader of the group, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, threatened to intensify the Houthis’ operations against Israel, carried out with the group Islamic Resistance in Iraq.