What to Know:
The Houthi Political Office has released a statement about the ongoing conflict in the Red Sea, stating that the only way to avoid escalations in the region is if Israel stops military operations in Gaza.
The Political Office of the Houthi movement released a statement that reads:
“The United States of America relies on a policy of lying and deception based on public opinion that its military movements in the Red Sea are to protect maritime navigation.
Although the whole world is aware with certainty that the Yemeni operations at sea target Israeli ships or those heading towards Israel, and that other ships pass normally and in a safe manner, and that the Yemeni operations are a moral, faith and humanitarian stance within the framework of victory and support for our Palestinian brothers in Gaza who are subjected to the ugliest Israeli aggression and siege. American.
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— ??? ????? ???? (@Nasr_Amer1) January 10, 2024
By militarizing the Red Sea, the American is the one who threatens maritime navigation and seeks to destabilize security and stability in the region.
The American military movements in the Red Sea are illegal and without any justification other than providing more support to the Zionist entity by protecting its ships and encouraging it to continue its aggression against the Palestinian people.
We affirm that avoiding escalation in the Red Sea is possible by stopping the aggression and lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip, and any steps to the contrary will only increase the expansion of the conflict, and America bears full responsibility for its continued support for the Israeli entity.”
The statement comes as the Houthis launched their 26th and largest attack against commercial shipping vessels in the Red Sea since November 19th.
According to the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), Houthi forces ” launched a complex attack of Iranian designed one-way attack UAVs (OWA UAVs), anti-ship cruise missiles, and an anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen into the Southern Red Sea, towards international shipping lanes where dozens of merchant vessels were transiting.”
HMS DIAMOND, along with US warships, has repelled the largest attack by the Iranian-backed Houthis in the Red Sea to date.
Destroying multiple attack drones with her guns and sea viper missiles. pic.twitter.com/kFjFKj6TM6
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) January 10, 2024
“Eighteen OWA UAVs, two anti-ship cruise missiles, and one anti-ship ballistic missile were shot down by a combined effort of F/A-18s from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS Gravely (DDG 107), USS Laboon (DDG 58), USS Mason (DDG 87), and the United Kingdom’s HMS Diamond (D34),” the statement added.
The Houthis later released an announcement saying that the attack “came as an initial response to the treacherous attack on our naval forces by the American enemy forces” and that it targeted an “American ship that was providing support to the Zionist entity.”
No damage or injuries were reported.
Why it Matters:
This latest attack came a week after the United States, the United Kingdom, and several other partner nations released a joint statement warning the Houthis to immediately cease attacks in the Red Sea or “bear the responsibility for the consequences should they continue to threaten lives, the global economy, or the free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways.”
"The Houthis have taken more than 25 hostages from the ships that they've seized"
US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken updates reporters on his diplomatic trip of the Middle East before leaving Bahrain
Israel-Hamas war latest: https://t.co/P3CSzL2j6R
? Sky 501 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/7h7ZvTfBhO
— Sky News (@SkyNews) January 10, 2024
Following the attack, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reiterated the warning against the Houthis, telling Sky News “All I can tell you is, again, we’ve made clear, we’ve been clear with more than 20 other countries that if this continues as it did yesterday, there will be consequences. And I’m going to leave it at that.”
As the Houthis have repeatedly stated, they will not stop attacks against vessels linked to Israel or heading to Israeli ports until IDF operations in Gaza stop. Considering that this likely won’t happen anytime in the near future as Israel vowed to completely destroy Hamas, attacks will certainly continue.
This puts the United States and members of Operation Prosperity Gurdian, a multinational maritime security force, in a position to keep issuing warnings or take action. As it stands, trade volume through the Bab el-Mandeb strait and the Suez Canal have drop drastically, impacting European ports and $200 billion worth of goods. Due tot he attacks, several major shipping companies have suspended operations through the Red Sea, instead diverting course around the Cape of Good Hope, which increases transit times by two weeks, freight rates, and prices for end consumers.
The amount of cargo passing through the Bab el-Mandeb strait, the southern entry point for the Red Sea, collapsed even further.
See the move in the last week. pic.twitter.com/gmq39M1m1t
— Jim Bianco (@biancoresearch) January 10, 2024
American and British media have previously reported that the United States and United Kingdom are weighing strike options against the Houthis in Yemen, which would target key drone and missile launch sites. The Houthis have warned that attacks on Yemen would amount to war and that they would target American military assets and interests in the region.