U.S. attacks Houthis to stop Red Sea hostilities
Iran-backed Houthis have attempted to attack and harass 27 ships in international shipping lanes since October 17, 2023
The U.S. Central Command forces, in coordination with the United Kingdom, and support from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and Bahrain, conducted joint strikes on Houthi targets to degrade their capability to continue illegal and reckless attacks on U.S. and international vessels and commercial shipping in the Red Sea.
"This multinational action targeted radar systems, air defence systems, and storage and launch sites for one way attack unmanned aerial systems, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles," U.S. Central Command said in its post on X.
Iran-backed Houthi militants have attempted to attack and harass 27 ships in international shipping lanes since October 17, 2023, the update added. "These illegal incidents include attacks that have employed anti-ship ballistic missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. These strikes have no association with and are separate from Operation Prosperity Guardian, a defensive coalition of over 20 countries operating in the Red Sea, Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and Gulf of Aden.
“We hold the Houthi militants and their destabilising Iranian sponsors responsible for the illegal, indiscriminate, and reckless attacks on international shipping that have impacted 55 nations so far, including endangering the lives of hundreds of mariners, including the United States,” says General Michael Erik Kurilla, US CENTCOM Commander. “Their illegal and dangerous actions will not be tolerated, and they will be held accountable.”
Over 100 precision-guided munitions of various types were used in the strikes, according to the update from the U.S. Air Forces Central Commander Lt. Gen. Alex Grynkewich. “These strikes consisted of coalition air and maritime strikes and support assets from across the region, including U.S. Naval Forces Central Command aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles launched from surface and sub-surface platforms.”
In the latest attack, an oil tanker was boarded in the Gulf of Oman, according to the update from the U.K. Maritime Trade Operations.
Complicating the matters further, it appears that the tanker in question has previously been involved in the smuggling of sanctioned crude oil from Iran, writes Lars Jensen in his latest update on LinkedIn.
Rates zoom on uncertainty
The East-West routes which are affected by the highest rate increases per 40ft container since the Red Sea events hit container shipping in the past month, according to Drewry, are:
Shanghai to Rotterdam - rates up 207 percent since December 14 to $5,213
Shanghai to Genoa - rates up 206 percent since December 14 to $4,406
Shanghai to New York - rates up 46 percent since December 14, to $4,170
"All three routes previously used the Suez Canal. Drewry World Container Index was up another 15 percent as the Red Sea shipping crisis continues and market volatility is back," writes Philip Damas, Head, Supply Chain Advisors and Managing Director, Drewry Shipping Consultants.