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15 June, 2024
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Red Sea hit by explosive drone assault

Houthi rebels' drone attack rocks Red Sea, ignites tensions


In a significant maritime incident, a drone boat laden with explosives has detonated in the Red Sea, as confirmed by the US navy.

According to a report on Sky News, the vessel is now linked to Houthi rebels, a group controlling a substantial part of Yemen and aligning themselves with Iran. Despite the powerful blast, fortunately, no immediate damage or casualties have been reported.

Houthi rebels have been actively involved in launching multiple attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea since November. The group asserts that these actions serve as a protest against Israel's military operations in Gaza.

The latest explosion unfolded in densely populated shipping lanes, raising concerns as Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, leading US naval forces in the Middle East, expressed worry about its proximity to merchant and US navy ships.

The repercussions of these attacks reverberate globally, with international shipping experiencing severe disruptions. Numerous companies have opted to suspend journeys through the Red Sea, redirecting vessels on a lengthy detour around Africa.

This maritime challenge comes on the heels of a stern warning issued by 12 countries, including the US and UK, to the Houthis, cautioning them of "consequences" if their targeting of commercial vessels persists.

Vice Admiral Cooper emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, "There are no signs that their irresponsible behavior is abating." This incident occurred just a day after the warning, indicating a disregard for international concerns.

The heightened tensions have sparked discussions about potential military responses, putting pressure on US President Joe Biden's administration.

Despite Houthi claims that their attacks specifically target vessels with ties to Israel or en route to Israel, investigations reveal that many affected ships had no such connections. Beyond the immediate security concerns, there is a growing apprehension about the broader impact on the UK's cost of living crisis.

The disrupted route through the Red Sea, vital for accessing Egypt's Suez Canal, forces ships to take a longer and more expensive route via the Cape of Good Hope, adding approximately 10 days and 3,500 nautical miles to their journeys.

This poses economic challenges, affecting the transportation of crucial commodities like natural gas, electricals, and food and drink.

[With information sourced from Sky News]

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