UK will back words with actions against Houthis in Yemen – CameronPublished36 minutes agoShareclose panelShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingRelated TopicsIsrael-Gaza warMedia caption, Watch: Lord Cameron says Houthis have escalated tensions in Middle EastBy James Gregory & Adam DurbinBBC NewsForeign Secretary David Cameron said the UK is “prepared to back our words with actions” against the Houthis, after taking military action in Yemen over their attacks in the Red Sea.Lord Cameron told the BBC the US-UK air strikes were needed after months of attacks on shipping, despite warnings. Sir Keir Starmer said he backed the operation as “action had to be taken”. But the Labour leader said he would have to consider whether to support any more air strikes.Looking at the global security situation more generally on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, Lord Cameron cautioned it is “hard to remember a more unstable, dangerous and uncertain world”.He said the “red lights on the global dashboard are very much flashing”, given ongoing wars in Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa. Lord Cameron said the UK had given the Houthis, who are key allies of Hamas, “warning after warning” before joining US-led strikes, which were launched to protect global shipping.The Houthis are a political and military group which control a large part of Yemen, including the capital. They are backed by Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy and claim they target any ship travelling to, or owned by, Israel. They have carried out at least 27 attacks since 19 November, according to the US, and have launched a series of drones and missiles towards Israel. The group’s attacks on cargo ships – some of which have no clear connection to Israel – have led major shipping companies to divert vessels away from the Red Sea, instead taking a longer route around southern Africa. Confirming there would be a statement in Parliament about the strikes on Monday, Lord Cameron said a political debate before this kind of military action would not have been right “for reasons of operational security”.Asked if the attacks represented an escalation of the conflict, he denied this and told the BBC the Houthis were responsible for escalating their attacks on shipping in the vital sea lane since mid-November and the joint UK-US strikes were a “last resort”. After arguing that “not acting is also a policy that doesn’t work”, he said: “The strikes themselves were limited, proportionate, targeted, legal, but there were also necessary.”Starmer denies backtracking on military action voteYemen strikes show war in Gaza has already spreadWhat we know: Strikes on Houthis and strategy behind themStrikes on Houthis in Yemen self-defence, says PMWho are the Houthis attacking Red Sea ships?Media caption, Keir Starmer says he backs strikes to stop Houthi attacksAlso speaking to Laura Kuenssberg, Labour leader Sir Keir said he backed the UK military operation so far as “action had to be taken” to protect shipping in the Red Sea.”The operation that took place just a few days ago was very clearly an operation to deal with the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. This is commercial shipping, these are civilians on those boats,” he said. Sir Keir also told the BBC “sitting back and simply doing nothing” over the threat to global trade is “not an appropriate way to respond”.But he also said Labour would need to consider the arguments if the UK plans further attacks in Yemen and he would expect to be briefed by the government. Asked whether he had changed his position on whether the government has to give MPs a say on UK military action, Sir Keir denied this and said a vote was only needed when “deploying troops”.During his leadership campaign Sir Keir had pledged to create a law requiring “the consent of the Commons” for military action.Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been criticised by some opposition parties for not consulting Parliament in advance of the strikes, though the government does not have to do this. He will give his first statement to MPs on the matter on Monday.US-led strikes against Houthi targets began early on Friday and were described by Mr Sunak as “limited, necessary and proportionate action in self-defence”.On Saturday, a Houthi spokesman told Reuters the strikes had no significant impact on the group’s ability to affect shipping.US President Joe Biden has said there will be further retaliation against the Houthis should the group continue with its “outrageous behaviour”.A spokesman for the Houthis said there was “absolutely no justification” for the attacks and that the group would continue to target Israeli ships.Tens of thousands of Yemenis gathered in several cities on Friday in protest at the strikes, with many burning Israeli and American flags.Houthis control north Yemen, capital Sanaa and the Red Sea coastline. The armed group declares themselves to be part of the Iranian-led “axis of resistance” against Israel, the US and wider West.Away from the evolving conflict in the Middle East, Lord Cameron and Sir Keir were asked by Laura Kuenssberg about the deaths of five people trying to cross the English Channel overnight.Lord Cameron said it was “heartbreaking” to hear more lives had been lost in “the cold waters of the Channel in the middle of the night”. “But it just shows we’ve got to stop the boats, we’ve got to stop this illegal trade in human beings.”Lord Cameron said breaking the business model of people smugglers is why the government is pursuing the deal with Rwanda to send some asylum seekers to east Africa on a one-way ticket. Sir Keir called the deaths a “tragic loss of life” adding that “we need to smash those gangs”. Rejecting the “gimmick” of the Rwanda scheme, he talked about the prosecution of gangs during his time running the Crown Prosecution Service as Director of Public Prosecutions.”Having seen this done for terrorist gangs, with guns and with drugs I refuse to believe we can’t do anything about it,” he said. Lord Cameron was also asked by the BBC about his private lobbying of ministers to try to secure an emergency pandemic loan scheme for disgraced financier Lex Greensill. The former prime minister denied being paid £10 million to work on behalf of Greensill Capital during his years outside of British politics, following his resignation in 2016. After refusing to tell Laura Kuenssberg how much he was paid, he said: “I was a private citizen, I had a number of different interests, the things I did, including important charitable work and I think as a private citizen you’re entitled to do that.”Related TopicsIsrael-Gaza warIsraelYemenMore on this storyYemen strikes show war in Gaza has already spreadPublished2 days agoStrikes on Houthis in Yemen self-defence, says PMPublished2 days ago