Rishi Sunak has said the UK is “not seeking a confrontation” with Yemen’s Houthi fighters – but it will strike again if their attacks in the Red Sea continue.
Royal Air Force jets took part in a second wave of joint US-UK action against the group on Monday night after attacks on the vital shipping lane continued.
The prime minister told MPs: “We are not seeking a confrontation. We urge the Houthis and those who enable them to stop these illegal and unacceptable attacks.
“But, if necessary, the United Kingdom will not hesitate to respond again in self defence.
“We cannot stand by and allow these attacks to go unchallenged. Inaction is also a choice.”
Mr Sunak said new sanctions would be announced “in the coming days” in response to the Houthi attacks.
Outlining the UK’s wider approach to the situation he said the UK must “end the illegal flow of arms to the Houthi militia”
He said this would include “working closely with our allies and partners to disrupt and deter the supply of weapons and components”.
Mr Sunak added: “We are going to use the most effective means at our disposal to cut off the Houthis’ financial resources where they are used to fund these attacks.
“We are working closely with the United States on this and plan to announce new sanction measures in the coming days.”
He said the UK would keep helping the people of Yemen “who have suffered so terribly as a result of the country’s civil war”.
“We will continue to deliver humanitarian aid and support a negotiated peace in that conflict.”
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