US, UK and Israel Weigh the Scale of Potential Military Operations in Yemen

Sheba Intelligence | 2023-12-18 04:15 PM


International discussions on maritime security in the Red Sea ended in two agreed-upon measures. The first measure is launching a military strike against the Houthi group over its attacks on cargo ships, and the second is forming an international coalition to protect international shipping lanes, sources told Sheba Intelligence on Monday.


The sources said that the countries that will participate in military strikes against the Houthis are the UK, the US and Israel. However, these three countries have not agreed on the scale of the military operations in Yemen. While the US wants a limited strike on the Houthis, the British propose the seizure of the Al-Hudaydah port as a price for the Houthi attacks oninternational shipping lanes. However, Israel demands the removal of the Houthi group from the Red Sea coast.


The sources indicated that the strikes will likely target Houthi military commanders, missile and drone launching centers, weapons depots, and training camps in Sanaa, Kamaran Island, Al-Luhaya and Al-Salif of Al-Hudaydah.


 Iran threatened to intervene militarily if a military strike was launched against the Houthis, while Oman is still trying to urge the Houthis to de-escalate in the Red Sea, according to the sources.


The Houthi group keeps preparing for war with the international forces and says its attacks on Israeli-linked ships will not stop. It has deployed its defense systems in Sanaa and continued training its special forces in a camp 15 km from Al-Hudaydah port to carry out attacks in the Red Sea under the supervision of Iranian experts, informed sources told Sheba Intelligence on Monday.


Over the past few weeks, the Houthi group has launched a series of missile and drone attacks on ships in the Red Sea, sparking a global concern over maritime security. While the US and UK warships have intercepted several Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, the shipping lanes remain unsafe.

Today, Houthi spokesperson Yahia Sarea said they attacked two ships in the Red, saying the two vessels have links to Israel. Heidentified the vessels as the MSC Clara and Norwegian-owned Swan Atlantic, explaining that the process of targeting the two ships came after their crews refused to respond to calls from the Yemeni naval forces. Sarea added that all ships will not be hurt except those linked to Israel. 

As attacks on ships continue almost daily, multiple shipping companies have decided to stop sailing in the Red Sea. Today, Oil industry giant BP Plc decided to pause all oil tanker shipments through the Red Sea.

On Saturday, French shipping group CMA CGM said it paused all container shipments through the region.

On Friday, German container shipping line Hapag Lloyd said it was examining whether to pause sailings via the Red Sea hours after reporting one of its ships had been attacked.

Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk said Friday it would also pause all container shipments through the Red Sea until further notice, following a 'near-miss incident' involving its vessel Maersk Gibraltar a day earlier.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) said Saturday its ships would not transit through the Suez Canal, with some already rerouted via the Cape of Good Hope, a day after Houthi forces fired two ballistic missiles at its MSC Palatium III vessel. 

Due to operational issues, the Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has also stopped cargo acceptance to and from Israel until further notice.