Kirby Can’t Answer Why Houthis Aren’t Afraid Of Joe Biden

[Screenshot/White House press briefing]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby could not answer why the Houthi rebels are not afraid of President Joe Biden.

Daily Caller White House correspondent Reagan Reese posed the question at Friday’s briefing, after Biden said Thursday that the airstrikes against the Iranian-backed rebels have proven to be ineffective thus far. The president said the U.S. will continue launching airstrikes despite it being ineffective.

“John, President Biden admitted yesterday that the retaliatory strikes against the Houthis aren’t working,” Reese began. “Why aren’t they afraid of the U.S.?”

“Well, you have to ask the Houthis what’s in their mindset. I’m not gonna get in between the ears of Houthi leaders,” Kirby said. “They claim it’s about Gaza, it’s not. They claim that it’s some sort of U.S. and Britain effort to wage war on them. It’s not. We’re simply trying to do two things. We’re trying to defend our Navy ships and sailors and the Navy ships and sailors of other nations that are in the Red Sea with us, and two, protecting our national shipping.”

“This is about self-defense and, again, this conflict — well, first of all, we don’t seek a conflict, there doesn’t need to be a conflict. But the exchange of fire that we have seen in recent days doesn’t have to go on one day longer if the Houthis would make the right decision to stop these attacks,” Kirby continued.

“Right, but they’re a terrorist group attacking U.S. interests, wouldn’t your response make them stop?” Reese asked. (RELATED: US Conducts Additional Strikes On Houthis After Attacks On Shipping Continue) 

“Again, terrorist groups commit acts of violence, oftentimes not just for the sake of committing acts of violence, but for political posturing or political messaging of some sort,” Kirby said.

Kirby said he is unaware of any alternative response to the conflict near the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, where the Houthis have launched at least 27 missile and drone attacks against commercial vessels in the region. The U.S. began firing retaliatory attacks against the terror group beginning Jan. 11.

“They need to stop the attacks,” Kirby added. “If they don’t, we’ll continue to defend ourselves and make it harder for them to conduct them.”

The U.S. attacked Houthi weapons sites for the fifth time in one week Thursday and struck two anti-ship missile sites. The Houthis have continued to wage attacks on commercial vessels despite the retaliatory attacks.