NewsUS and UK's Red Sea strike fails to deter Yemeni Houthi's cargo ship assaults

US and UK's Red Sea strike fails to deter Yemeni Houthi's cargo ship assaults

US and UK's Red Sea strike fails to deter Yemeni Houthi's cargo ship assaults
Images source: © GETTY | Bloomberg
3:51 AM EST, January 16, 2024

Until recently, the Houthi fighters had been targeting cargo vessels associated with Israel to compel the Israeli government to cease military operations in the Gaza Strip. Major shipowners have suspended sailing through the Red Sea, which significantly blows global trade.

In retaliation, the US formed a coalition to safeguard ships navigating these waters. Last week, in collaboration with the UK, Houthi positions in Yemen were bombarded. The Americans and the British hailed this as a "significant" attack intended to curtail the fighters' capacity to launch further assaults.

Sometime after, it became evident that undermining the Ansar Allah movement would not be straightforward. As predicted, the Iran-backed fighters commenced attacks on US cargo vessels over the weekend. By Monday, they had targeted a second vessel. According to Britain's Ambrey, specializing in maritime security, three missiles were launched, but only one reached its target.

Escalation in the Red Sea: What are Washington and London's next moves?

The Pentagon confirmed the attack but added that the "vessel reported no injuries or significant damage and continues its voyage." The question now is what steps the Americans and the British will take next.

"I won't speculate on future actions. We intended this as a limited, single action, hoping the Houthis would retreat and cease their destabilizing attacks. However, we will not hesitate to protect our security, our people, and our interests as and when necessary," stated British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday, presenting a report in the House of Commons on last week's operation.

Prime Minister Sunak emphasized that the British-American operation was "completely separate" from the conflict in the Gaza Strip and was a "direct response to Houthi attacks on international shipping." He hinted that rebels were mounting attacks on vessels from across the globe and warned against subscribing to their damaging narrative.

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