U.S. Leads New Mission To Counter Attacks In Red Sea

December 19, 2023

The recent escalation in reckless Houthi attacks originating from Yemen threatens the free flow of commerce, endangers innocent mariners, and violates international law.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announcing a new operation, Operation Prosperity Guardian, that will include other countries to counter the attacks by the Houthis on ships traveling in the Red Sea.

Why It Matters: The attacks by the Houthis in the Red Sea remain frequent and violent, threatening a broader conflict as well as the broader global economy.

The U.S. reports the Houthis (a militant group in Yemen, once designated a terrorist group by the U.S. with ties to Iran) have targeted at least 10 commercial ships with more than 100 drones and ballistic missiles. These attacks do not include the drones (unmanned aerial devices – uav’s) shot down by the U.S. Navy. The ships targeted include crews from more than 35 nations – and one of the crews from a targeted ship remain hostage in Yemen.

Big Picture: A significant amount of trade (upwards of 15%) travels through the Red Sea (an alternative to sailing around the continent of Africa). BP, the oil giant, became the latest company to announce they will no longer sail in the Red Sea, and this led to a jump in oil prices as analysts raise concerns about how interruptions in shipping times could impact the supply chain.

The Houthis say the attacks will continue as retribution for Israel’s attack on Hamas.

Read out from the Pentagon

by Jenna Lee,