Biden Administration Claims No War With Houthi Rebels

With the U.S. conducting several airstrikes on Yemen to flush out Houthi rebels attacking merchant ships in the Red Sea, many have questioned whether President Joe Biden has declared war on the Iranian-backed terrorist group. The Biden administration has denied those allegations.

During a briefing on Thursday, Biden gave an update after launching the fifth round of strikes against the Houthi. When questioned by reporters on whether the airstrikes were working, the president said that the attacks in the Red Sea have not stopped.

“Well, when you say working, are they stopping the Houthis? No,” said Biden. “Are they gonna continue? Yes.”

At a later briefing, reporters were eager to question Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh about the U.S. airstrikes in Yemen. She stated that the U.S. is not at war but responding to the attacks on merchant ships by the Houthis.

“We don’t think that we are at war. We don’t want to see a regional war,” Singh said. “The Houthis are the ones that continue to launch cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles at innocent mariners, at commercial vessels that are just transiting an area that sees, you know, 10 to 15 percent of world’s commerce.”

On the same day, the Houthi released their own statement about the attacks. They reported carrying out a missile attack on the U.S. ship Chem Ranger, resulting in “direct hits” in the Gulf of Aden.

While Biden denied going to war with the Houthi, documents he submitted may suggest otherwise.

There have been at least two notifications to Congress under the War Powers Resolution, which requires submitting a report to Congress about introducing armed forces into “hostilities or situations where hostilities are imminent” within 48 hours.

He sent notifications on Jan. 12 and Jan. 22.

Throughout the attacks, the Biden administration has stated that their actions are in “self-defense,” even though their reasons changed. At first, defense officials stated that Houthi rebels were targeting merchant ships. They later claimed that the terrorist group was targeting U.S. military ships.

Last month, the U.S. launched a multinational force to protect merchant ships in the Red Sea from being attacked by Houthi rebels. Among the countries are the U.K., France, Canada, Bahrain and Italy.