Oil supplies from the Middle East to Europe have almost halved as Houthi rebels continue to attack trade routes in the Red Sea. Some shipping companies around the world have suspended transit in the region.
On Saturday, US forces conducted an airstrike on a Houthi missile launcher that was prepared to launch an attack in the Gulf of Aden, the US military said. It was another attack by the coalition forces formed by the United States and Great Britain to protect trade routes in the Red Sea.
Some companies have suspended cruises in the region
Al-Jazeera TV reported that as a result of continuous attacks by Houthi rebels on trade routes in the Red Sea, oil supplies from the Middle East to Europe have been reduced by almost half. Iran-backed Houthi terrorists became active after Israel began attacking the Gaza Strip.
Some of the world’s largest shipping companies have suspended transit in the region, diverting ships to a route around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. The longer route resulted in higher freight rates due to higher costs of fuel, crew wages and insurance.
The Yemeni authorities are asking for international help
The deputy head of Yemen’s Presidential Council has requested international assistance to carry out a ground operation against the Houthis.
The ground forces that belong to the legitimate government of Yemen must be helped, said Aidarous al-Zoubaïdi, deputy chairman of the Presidential Council of Yemen, at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland
He emphasized that air attacks without ground operations are useless, and more coordinated military cooperation and exchange of intelligence information, training and equipment of government forces are necessary.
Who are the Houthis?
In the 1980s, the cleric leader Hussein al-Houthi created the Believing Youth, a movement that was intended to oppose Sunni organizations financed by Saudi Arabia. In 2001, the al-Houthi group disbanded and its members became known as the Houthis and launched an anti-government insurgency against Sunnis from 2004 and gradually became one of the most important players in Yemen’s civil war. In 2015, the Houthis staged a coup d’état, as a result of which some countries recognized it as a terrorist organization.
The Houthis limited their activities to Yemen and were not widely known outside the Arabian Peninsula. This changed in late 2023 when militias began attacking ships, hijacked a cargo ship and damaged a Norwegian tanker. In response to these actions, on December 18, the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, announced the creation of a naval coalition, which officially included ten countries. Five American destroyers are in the Red Sea region, while the aircraft carrier USS Dwight Eisenhower is moored near Djibouti.