Ship Under Fire: Yemen's Houthis Target Global Trade Routes

World | April 30, 2024, Tuesday // 09:38|  views

Yemen's Houthi rebels have reportedly launched attacks on four ships in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, as per Reuters. The container ship MSC Orion was targeted with a drone in the Indian Ocean. The vessel, flagged by Portugal and owned by Zodiac Maritime, was en route from Portugal to Oman. Zodiac Maritime, partially owned by Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Since November, Houthi fighters, backed by Iran, have conducted multiple drone and missile strikes in strategic waterways like the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. This has led shipping companies to reroute cargo, increasing costs and concerns about the conflict's regional impact. In March, the group announced plans to expand its operations to disrupt Israeli-linked shipping in the Indian Ocean.

In addition to the MSC Orion, the Houthis claimed responsibility for targeting the merchant ship Cyclades and two US destroyers in the Red Sea. British maritime security firm Ambrey reported that a Maltese-flagged container ship was attacked while traveling from Djibouti to Jeddah. The Houthis stated that the Cyclades was attacked due to its association with Israel.

The attacks come amidst heightened tensions between Israel and Hamas, with the potential for wider regional destabilization. The targeting of international shipping routes raises concerns about the safety and security of maritime trade in the region.

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Tags: Houthi, Red Sea, ocean, maritime


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