Advertisement

U.S., U.K. forces repel ‘largest attack’ by Houthis in Red Sea

Click to play video: 'Yemen’s Houthis will face ‘consequences’ if they don’t cease Red Sea attacks: US'
Yemen’s Houthis will face ‘consequences’ if they don’t cease Red Sea attacks: US
WATCH: U.S. and British naval forces on Tuesday shot down 21 drones and missiles fired by Houthis, in what Blinken called the largest attack in the shipping corridor to date. U.S. National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby, meanwhile, called the attacks in the Red Sea “escalation” and added that the Houthis would face “consequences” if they did not cease – Jan 10, 2024

U.S. and British naval forces shot down 21 drones and missiles fired by Yemen-based Houthis on Tuesday towards international shipping lanes in the southern Red Sea, the United States said.

Britain’s defence minister said it was the largest attack in the area by the militants to date as the three-month-long war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza spills over into other parts of the Middle East.

U.S. Central Command said no injuries nor damage were reported, adding that this was the 26th Houthi attack on commercial shipping lanes in the Red Sea since Nov. 19.

The Houthis, who control most of Yemen, have been targeting the route to show their support for Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist group.

Click to play video: 'Red Sea shipping route attacks by Yemen’s Houthis threatening ‘free flow’ of commerce: White House'
Red Sea shipping route attacks by Yemen’s Houthis threatening ‘free flow’ of commerce: White House

The attacks have seriously disrupted international commerce on the key route between Europe and Asia that accounts for about 15 per cent of the world’s shipping traffic.

Story continues below advertisement

Many shipping companies have been forced to reroute their vessels, taking the longer journey around Africa, although several oil majors, refiners and trading houses have continued to use it.

U.S. Central Command said 18 drones, two anti-ship cruise missiles and one anti-ship ballistic missile were shot down by the two navies in the incident.

British defence minister Grant Shapps said on Wednesday: “Overnight, (Royal Navy ship) HMS DIAMOND, along with U.S. warships, successfully repelled the largest attack from the Iranian-backed Houthis in the Red Sea to date.”

Shapps repeated a warning from Britain and its allies, including the U.S. and Germany, that the attacks were unacceptable, telling the militant group that it would “bear the consequences” if they continue.

“We will take the action needed to protect innocent lives and the global economy,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Canada, U.S. warn Houthis to stop attacks on Red Sea shipping vessels'
Canada, U.S. warn Houthis to stop attacks on Red Sea shipping vessels

The Iranian-backed Houthis have vowed to continue attacks until Israel halts the conflict in Gaza, and warned they would would attack U.S. warships if the militia group itself was targeted.

Story continues below advertisement

German shipping group Hapag Lloyd said on Tuesday it would continue to avoid the Suez Canal and around the Cape of Good Hope for security reasons, while its Danish rival Maersk MAERSKb.CO has said it would avoid the route “for the foreseeable future”.

Retailers across the world have also been stocking up on goods before China’s Lunar New Year holiday and seeking air or rail alternatives to avoid empty shelves this spring.

Sponsored content

AdChoices