U.S. Warships, Commercial Vessels Unsafe in Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-01-25 10:33 AM UTC


The U.S.-Houthi clash in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden keeps heightening as the American-British airstrikes on sites in Yemen have failed to stop Houthi attacks on commercial ships.

Houthi spokesperson Yahya Saree said late Wednesday the Yemeni armed forces clashed with "a number of American destroyers and warships in the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab". 

According to the Houthi statement, the Houthi missiles directly hit an American warship, and the clash lasted two hours. The warship was protecting the two American commercial ships, which were "forced to retreat and return."

Saree indicated that these attacks are happening "in solidarity with the Palestinian people and in response to the American-British aggression on[Yemen]."

Since January 12, the U.S. and U.K. have repeatedly launched strikes on Houthi sites in Yemen, hitting dozens of targets to degrade the Houthi military capabilities. The group keeps vowing that such strikes "will not pass without a punishment."

The U.S. Central Command said in a statement yesterday that the Iran-backed Houthis fired three anti-ship ballistic missiles toward the U.S.-flagged, owned, and operated container ship M/V Maersk Detroit, transiting the Gulf of Aden.

It added, "One missile impacted in the sea. The two other missiles were successfully engaged and shot down by the USS Gravely (DDG 107). There were no reported injuries or damage to the ship."

The Houthi group is preparing for a long and complex war with the American-British coalition, employing various defensive and preventive procedures.

While the Houthi forces continue to transfer air defense systems, ballistic missiles, and drone launchers to the coastal areas, they are taking measures to ensure the protection of their military and security commanders in the capital, Sana'a.

Meanwhile, rates for vessels carrying fuel from the Middle East to Asia have almost tripled since the U.S. and U.K. launched airstrikes on Yemen's Houthi rebels — climbing to $83,000 a day from about $30,000, an increase of 182% since January 12. Those ships mostly haul naphtha, a product used to make gasoline and plastics.

On Monday midnight, Yemen local time, the U.S. and British forces bombed multiple targets in eight locations used by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen. A Houthi security source said the strikes hit al-Dailami Air Base north of the capital city, Sarif, northeast of the capital city, and al-Hafa to the south of the city.

With the escalating Houthi-U.S. faceoff, the rates for vessels carrying fuel from the Middle East to Asia have almost tripled, climbing to $83,000 a day from about $30,000, an increase of 182% since January 12.

The attacks at Bab El-Mandeb Strait, which handles 12 percent of global trade, have already forced some shutdowns at European auto plants and raised fears of a surge in consumer prices.

One of the world's biggest liquefied natural gas exporters, Qatar, is delaying some shipments to Europe as the conflict in the Red Sea forces longer travel times. According to Bloomberg News, Qatar informed some European buyers of delays and rescheduled shipments, the report said, citing traders with knowledge of the matter.