WASHINGTON — The White House is calling on Yemen’s Houthi rebels to “cease further escalation,” after a Saudi-led coalition battling the rebels said they attacked a Saudi oil tanker.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Wednesday that the United States is “very concerned about the Houthis’ latest attempt to escalate the war in Yemen.”

Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacked a Saudi oil tanker in the Red Sea on Tuesday, causing “minor damage” to the ship, the Saudi-led coalition battling the rebels said. The attack occurred in international waters west of the port of Hodeida in Yemen, which is under Houthi control.

Sanders said: “We call on the Houthis to cease further escalation and demonstrate their commitment to a peace process by engaging in constructive dialogue.”