Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Launch Largest Attack in Red Sea; U.S. & British Forces Respond

January 10, 2024

This is the 26th Houthi attack on commercial shipping lanes in the Red Sea since Nov. 19. There were no injuries or damage reported.

The United States Central Command regarding an attack on Tuesday in the southern Red Sea, where U.S. and British forces shot down 18 drones and three missiles launched by Houthi rebels.

Important Context: Over the last several weeks, Houthi rebels (a group waging a civil war in Yemen and once designated a terrorist organization by the U.S.) have targeted ships in the nearby Red Sea – an important commercial waterway that accounts for about 12% of global shipping traffic. In wake of the attacks, many companies have rerouted their vessels due to safety concerns.

Why It Matters: Tuesday’s incident marks the Houthi’s largest attack in the Red Sea and comes amid the Israel-Hamas war, signaling a notable escalation of conflict in the broader Middle East region. The Houthis target the Red Sea shipping route as a way to show support for Hamas amid the ongoing war; Hamas is a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization (both Hamas and the Houthis are backed by Iran – a U.S.-designated State Sponsor of terrorism). However, the attacks target vessels representing several countries, not just Israel.

Read More:

US, UK forces shoot down Houthi missiles, drones in Red Sea – US military (Reuters)

Yemen’s Houthis launch their largest Red Sea drone and missile attack, though no damage is reported (The Associated Press)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas