Netanyahu Warns Israel Will Act with International Coalition If Iran Attempts to Block Red Sea
TEL AVIV – Israel will join an international coalition to thwart any more attempts by Iran to block a key waterway in the region, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Wednesday, after Iranian proxies last week launched an attack on two Saudi oil tankers sailing through the narrow strait.
by: Deborah Danan 2 Aug 2018, 7:52 AM PDT
Source: Breitbart Jerusalem
“At the beginning of the week we were witness to a sharp clash between Iran’s proxies that tried to sabotage international shipping in the strait at the mouth of the Red Sea,” Netanyahu said at a graduation ceremony for elite captains at a naval base in Haifa.
“If Iran tries to block the Bab al-Mandab waterway, I am convinced that it will find itself against an international coalition determined to prevent that. This coalition will include the State of Israel and all of its branches,” he said, marking the first such promise despite the fact that the threat to the narrow shipping strait has been building up for some time.
Last Wednesday’s attack on Saudi tankers by Yemen’s Tehran-aligned Houthis did not cause major damage to the vessels themselves, but they prompted the temporary suspension of Saudi oil shipments in the region and a spike in prices in global oil markets.
The Bab al-Mandab Strait connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and is a crucial oil passageway for both the West and Asia and a key shipping route for global trade.
Netanyahu told the new naval officers that a “significant part” of the campaign Israel is waging against terrorists is conducted at sea.
“Dozens of operations that you carry out each year extract a price,” he said. “While our enemies are also developing their capabilities, our goal is to preempt them, thwart threats and, if necessary, decide the battle.”
“The sea provides us with many opportunities,” Netanyahu added. “Above all, it increases the small area of the State of Israel and allows us to deploy our vessels over the water and underwater in a vast space. This gives the State of Israel tremendous power.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said at the naval ceremony, “We recently heard threats to attack Israeli ships on the Red Sea, and I look at the people around me who are here, and it’s a pity that our enemies cannot see you and understand that we are well prepared to respond to any threat.”
“I want to emphasize: The IDF is prepared and ready to respond on two fronts simultaneously, and also in the Red Sea,” Liberman added.
Such a multi-pronged confrontation, he warned, “would be less selective, and the damage to our enemies will be more intense. I hope they will take this into account.”