Source Global Times
BEIJING, China: US and UK fighter jets launched strikes against multiple targets in Yemen's capital Sanaa, the western Red Sea city of Al Hudaydah and the northern province of Saada on Friday local time. The situation in the Red Sea has seen a new round of increased tensions and faces the risk of further escalation.
The air strikes took place exactly one day after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution regarding the situation in the Red Sea, giving the impression that the UN resolution gave the green light for the US and UK actions. It must be pointed out that this is an illusion. The US and the UK may have deliberately created and strengthened this illusion, but it is far from the truth.
The resolution was proposed by the US and Japan and passed with a vote of 11 in favor to none against, with four abstentions. It demanded "that the Houthis immediately cease all such attacks, which impede global commerce and undermine navigational rights and freedoms as well as regional peace and security." Russia, China, Algeria and Mozambique abstained from the vote.
The Red Sea is an important international trade channel for goods and energy, and its stability is related to the common interests of the international community. China emphasized that "No country should misinterpret or abuse relevant provisions in this resolution to create new tensions in the Red Sea." Unexpectedly, what China was worried about became a reality the next day.
After the attack, some US allies in the Middle East, including Jordan and Oman, expressed concern that the situation might get out of control. Yemen's neighbor Saudi Arabia also called for avoiding escalation of the situation.
There is also a lot of opposition in the US. Nabeel Khoury, former deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Yemen, said on X (formerly Twitter), "US/UK bombing campaign in Yemen is another failure of Biden diplomacy."
The current situation in the region is dire. A cease-fire between Palestine and Israel has not yet been achieved, and the spillover conflict in the Red Sea is further escalating and expanding. The Supreme Political Committee of the Houthi armed forces of Yemen claimed that all "interests" of the US and Britain are now "legitimate targets."
Retaliation and harassment against the US and the UK will start another cycle of attacks, and multiple spillover conflicts are possible. In short, the possibility of the situation deteriorating has increased and deepened, and this outcome requires all parties to do their best to avoid it.
It needs to be said that the development of the situation to this point has been both accidental and inevitable. It is the US that has pushed the situation to the current stage step by step according to its own style and behavioral logic.
The skewed stance of the US in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has led to the conflict becoming protracted and caused spillovers.
When dealing with Middle East issues, which are intertwined with contradictions and have complex historical latitudes, the US' strategy is thoughtless, even crude.
Military means is still the most familiar, preferred and convenient method for the US. It has been used in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria and now against the Houthi armed forces in Yemen. The US has become quite dependent on it.
Many bloody lessons have taught us that force as the main means cannot solve the problem, but instead makes the situation worse and more complicated. Ultimately, we have to return to the path of political settlement.
The same is true for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. China has repeatedly stressed the urgency of achieving an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, and it is the overriding prerequisite for everything else and a top priority for international diplomatic efforts.
Whether it is the current Red Sea crisis or the protracted conflict in Gaza, the real solution to the problem has always been clear, which is to immediately implement a cease-fire in Gaza. But for this core demand, the US currently does not have the courage to truly take supportive action.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has made four trips to the Middle East in three months. He has made so many trips, but he can't even say the word "instant cease-fire." If Washington continues on its current path, it will not solve the Middle East problem, but will become an active promoter of risk proliferation.
US defense officials said the strike was intended to thread the needle - pressing the Houthis to quit their attacks without spurring more conflicts in the volatile region. Threading the needle can be regarded as progress in US thinking, but can it achieve this via force? Can this restore peace in the Red Sea? The answer is obviously no.