Horst D. Deckert

Houthis Fire Missiles at Two Ships as Red Sea Crisis Rages on

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Biden’s ‘Operation Prosperity Guardian’ mission to shield the commercial shipping industry from attacks is failing

Iran-backed Houthi rebels targeted two commercial ships sailing in the southern Red Sea following airstrikes by the United States and the United Kingdom on dozens of locations across Yemen, Iraq, and Syria over the weekend.

This escalation around the maritime chokepoint has led to a blockade of ships, marking a new round of cost-push inflation due to snarled supply chains.

Reuters quoted a Houthi spokesman who said anti-ship missiles were fired at the Morning Tide and Star Nasia, flying Barbados- and Marshall Islands flags, respectively, as British and American. 

British maritime security firm Ambrey said Morning Tide suffered damage from a suicide drone while sailing southeast through the Red Sea. No injuries were reported. 

The owner of the Morning Tide told Reuters the vessel was sailing “without problems” but declined to give further information. 

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported after midnight GMT that a projectile was fired at the port side of a ship located 57 nautical miles west of Hodeidah. The ship’s bridge suffered minor damage. It noted all crew were safe. 

UKMTO/WARNING/INCIDENT 027 06/FEB/2024

Category: ATTACKhttps://t.co/kEfQRRMntN#MaritimeSecurity #MarSec pic.twitter.com/gg6YyCmd4N

— United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) (@UK_MTO) February 6, 2024

Moments ago (0632 ET), UKMTO reported another “attack” south of Aden, Yemen. 

UKMTO WARNING – INCIDENT 028

ATTACKhttps://t.co/qlApy9q9pq#MaritimeSecurity #MarSec pic.twitter.com/xWX7bgV7iW

— United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) (@UK_MTO) February 6, 2024

Since December, the shipping industry has been on high alert through the Red Sea. 

Bloomberg said, “The most significant incident so far was an attack on an oil tanker carrying Russian fuel that saw it catch fire, highlighting the risk of environmental disaster.” 

Wall Street analysts have warned clients in recent weeks about the worsening supply chain mess due to the Red Sea crisis. 

Two weeks ago, MUFG bank warned clients that “higher friction geopolitics” jeopardizes maritime chokepoints.

Last week, Deutsche Bank Research warned clients: Red alert 101: Tension in the global supply chain.” 

About one month ago, it first became apparent that the Red Sea blockage would trigger “a new round of surging cost-push inflation.” 

Here comes the next supply-driven inflation shock pic.twitter.com/2H7ppdmRVQ

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 5, 2024

The continued attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea by Houthi rebels is yet another sign President Biden’s Operation Prosperity Guardian mission to shield the commercial shipping industry from attacks is failing. 


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