• The Houthis' leader said on Thursday they would attack again in the Red Sea if struck by the US.

  • Later that evening, the US and UK carried out strikes on 60 Houthi targets in a single night.

  • The strikes came after the Houthis launched their "largest attack" in the Red Sea on Tuesday.

The leader of the Houthis in Yemen said on Thursday that an American strike on his organization would only embolden its attacks in the Red Sea, just hours before the US and the UK launched strikes on 60 rebel targets in a single night.

"Any American attack will not remain without a response. The response will be greater than the attack that was carried out with 20 drones and a number of missiles," said Abdel-Malek al-Houthi in a televised speech, according to Reuters.

He was referring to an assault repelled on Tuesday by American and British warships, in what the US and UK said was the "largest attack" launched by the Houthis so far.

"We are more determined to target ships linked to Israel, and we will not back down from that," al-Houthi added, per Reuters.

Later that evening, the US and UK used more than 100 precision-guided missiles to hit over 60 Houthi targets in 16 locations in Yemen, the US said.

It's not immediately clear how the strikes have affected the Houthi's overall militant capabilities and ability to follow through with al-Houthi's threats. A military strategist recently told Business Insider's Erin Snodgrass that more strikes will likely be needed to curb its Red Sea attacks.

The rebel organization, which is traditionally supported by Iran, has carried out a wave of attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea, claiming to be responding to Israel's bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza. Human Rights Watch, however, in December found that the Houthis have not provided evidence that at least five of these attacked ships were related to Israel.

The Houthi militants have pledge to commit a "greater response" in the Red Sea if hit by US strikes.
The Houthi militants have pledged to commit a "greater response" in the Red Sea if hit by US strikes.MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images

The attacks have disrupted international trade as rattled shipping giants reroute vessels away from the Red Sea.

The US and UK, leading a coalition protecting shipping routes in the area, earlier issued an ultimatum to the Houthis, saying the rebels would face consequences if they continued to attack.

The Houthis responded with their Tuesday drone and missile "largest attack."

And on Thursday evening, the US and UK responded in kind with precision strikes.

Reuters reported that a Houthi official, whom it did not name, had confirmed "raids" in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, and blamed "American-Zionist-British aggression."