Houthis resume attacks on ships after brief hiatus

Armed men stand on the beach as the Galaxy Leader commercial ship, seized by Yemen's Houthis last month, is anchored off the coast of al-Salif, Yemen, December 5, 2023. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
In a recent report by Charlotte Goldstone for The Loadstar, a surge in ship attacks in the Red Sea has raised concerns as the "danger area" may be expanding into the Arabian Sea. Houthi spokespersons claimed attacks on British, US, and Israeli ships, though these have yet to be independently confirmed.
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There has been a recent increase in attacks on ships in the Red Sea, with fears that the danger area may be expanding into the Arabian Sea. Despite a period of calm lasting eight days between March 23 and April 1, two recent attacks were confirmed by the UK Maritime Trade Operations. The most recent attack occurred southwest of Al Hudaydah, Yemen, but the ship and crew were reported safe.

Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree claimed responsibility for attacks on a British ship, US frigates, and two Israeli ships in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea. The British ship, Hope Island, owned by Borealis Maritime, was targeted, along with the MSC Grace and MSC Gina. The attacks have raised concerns about the safety of shipping routes in the region.

Experts have noted the potential implications of attacks in the Arabian Sea, with fears that the risk area could extend to major container hubs in Oman and the Strait of Hormuz. However, the veracity of the attacks has not been confirmed by other sources, leading to speculation that the claims may be propaganda or intended to deter shipping in the area. The situation highlights the challenges faced by shipping companies operating in regions prone to conflict and insecurity.

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