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Houthis Threaten to Target Ships in the Mediterranean Sea: Escalating Conflict Alert

Houthis Threaten to Target Ships in the Mediterranean Sea: Escalating Conflict Alert

Houthis Threaten to Expand Drone and Missile Attack Coverage to the Mediterranean Sea

Houthi Spokesperson Announces New Targets

Yahya Saree, the spokesperson for the Houthi terror group backed by Iran, announced in a televised speech at a rally in Al-Sabeen Square, Sana, that they plan to target ships linked to Israel in the eastern Mediterranean. This raises the risk of conflict extending from the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

"We will target any ship heading to Israeli ports in the Mediterranean, in any area we are able to reach," Saree stated. Given that the eastern Mediterranean is 1,900 kilometers (1,180 miles) from Yemen, this may suggest that the conflict zone is expanding, leading to a new escalation of the ongoing war.

Analyst Comments on the Situation

Fernando Ferreira, an energy analyst at Rapidan Energy Group, observed, "The Houthi nuisance continues, but they are at the limit of their ability to cause disruptions. The real risk of escalation comes from Israeli retaliation on IRGC officers/assets helping the Houthis."

Houthis' Recent Attacks and Warnings

This announcement comes after the Houthis have attacked numerous Western and Israel-linked commercial and military vessels across the southern Red Sea, Bab al-Mandab Strait, Gulf of Aden, and even the Strait of Hormuz since last November. The group asserts that these maritime attacks are in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza.

Saree also warned that if the Israel Defense Forces attacked the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are taking refuge from the seven-month-long war, they would have no choice but to impose sanctions on all ships of the companies supplying Israel and entering Israeli ports.

Houthis Expand Attack Coverage

What's evident—and not to the liking of the West—is that the Houthis seem to be broadening their attack coverage, as several maritime chokepoints in the region are under constant threat.

Failure of Operation Prosperity Guardian

We noted on Thursday that Operation Prosperity Guardian, the US-led maritime coalition initiated by the Biden administration earlier this year, has largely been unsuccessful. Maritime traffic data from Bloomberg shows that not a single LNG vessel bound for Europe and the US was transiting the Red Sea due to fear of Houthi drone and missile attacks.

Rising Conflict Spillover Risks

Conflict spillover risks are increasing in the Middle East. However, the war risk premium in Brent crude has been decreasing in recent weeks.

What's Your Take?

This situation certainly raises many questions about the future of maritime security in the region and the potential for escalating conflict. What are your thoughts on this matter? Share this article with your friends and let's get a discussion going. Don't forget to sign up for the Daily Briefing, which happens every day at 6pm.

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Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

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