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Friday, 14. June 2024

Houthis Listed as Terrorists; Target Another US Ship

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On Wednesday, the United States reinstated the Yemen-based Houthi rebels on the list of terrorist groups. This decision came in response to the rebels‘ second attack on a U.S.-operated vessel in the Red Sea region within the week. Additionally, the U.S. military conducted new strikes in the area.

The U.S. designates Yemen’s Houthi rebels as terrorists after a second attack on a U.S.-operated ship in the Red Sea. These ongoing attacks since November disrupt trade and heighten tensions amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The Houthis claim solidarity with Palestinians and threaten to broaden attacks on U.S. ships in response to American and British strikes on their positions.

Houthis claim their missiles directly hit the U.S. Genco Picardy bulk carrier, signaling their determination amid recent events.

Shipping operator Genco confirms its vessel, the U.S. Genco Picardy, was hit by a projectile in the Gulf of Aden while carrying phosphate rock.

Genco reports no injuries to the crew and limited damage to its vessel, the U.S. Genco Picardy, after a projectile hit in the Gulf of Aden. The ship is on a course out of the area.

U.S. military conducts strikes on 14 Houthi missiles, citing an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region.

Houthi-controlled news agency reports U.S. and British strikes targeting areas in Yemen; Houthi spokesman vows to continue attacks.

“The naval forces will not hesitate to target all sources of threat in the Red and Arabian sea within the legitimate right to defend Yemen and to continue supporting the oppressed Palestinian people,” said ,Yahya Sarea, the group’s military spokesperson in a statement.

Houthi forces target U.S.-owned ship Gibraltar Eagle with anti-ship ballistic missile; no reported injuries or significant damage.

U.S. designates Houthi rebels as “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” to cut off funding and weapons used in attacks on ships.

Houthi spokesman: Designation as “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” won’t impact attacks on ships heading to Israel.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, supporting Hamas in its conflict with Israel, emphasized the necessity of ending the Gaza war to eliminate the threat to maritime activities.

“The security of the Red Sea is tied to the developments in Gaza, and everyone will suffer if Israel’s crimes in Gaza do not stop … All the (resistance) fronts will remain active,” Amirabdollahian said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Supply chains snarled

Maersk and other major shipping companies have directed hundreds of commercial vessels to avoid the Red Sea, opting for longer routes around Africa or temporary halts until the safety of vessels can be ensured.

“It’s one of the most important arteries of global trade and global supply chains and it’s clogged up right now,” told Maersk CEO, Vincent Clerc, Reuters at the Global Markets Forum in Davos, adding that the disruption was likely to last at least several months.

The attacks, coupled with weather-related closures and stoppages in Europe, are leading to congestion at various container terminals, according to communication from Maersk to its customers on Thursday.

Banking executives express concerns that the crisis could lead to inflationary pressures.

Freight rates have more than doubled since early December, per maritime consultancy Drewry’s world container index, while war risk premiums for Red Sea shipments are reportedly increasing, according to insurance sources.

The attacks focus on a route representing about 15% of the world’s shipping traffic, crucial for the flow between Europe and Asia. Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp noted some of its cargoes in the Red Sea were impacted.

The attacks are significantly disrupting Italian ports, raising concerns that an extended crisis could compel companies to permanently reroute traffic away from the Mediterranean.

Italy is urging fellow European Union members to approve the establishment of an EU maritime security mission next week to swiftly address the escalating situation in the Red Sea.

Using the alternative shipping route around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope can extend a journey by 10-14 days compared to the quicker passage via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

Continued Houthi attacks on ships could result in a shortage of tankers, warned the CEO of Saudi oil giant Aramco.

“If it’s in the short term, tankers might be available … But if it’s longer term, it might be a problem,” CEO Amin Nasser said in an interview in Davos.

A Malta-flagged container ship faced an approach by three skiffs and a drone southwest of Yemen’s Dhubab on Wednesday, with no reported damage or casualties, according to a note from British maritime security firm Ambrey.

 

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