Tensions High: Houthis Target Cargo Ship in Red Sea
Red Sea on edge! Yemeni rebels launch rocket at ship. US & allies team up to secure vital waterway.
Things got hot in the Red Sea on Thursday when Yemeni rebels called Houthis, backed by Iran, took aim at a big cargo ship with a rocket. Thankfully, no one was hurt and the ship, named Maersk Gibraltar and flying the Hong Kong flag, wasn't damaged.
This attack wasn't a one-off, though. This is the third time in just four days that the Houthis have thrown rockets at cargo ships in the area, making everyone worried about the safety of this important waterway. Earlier, the Houthis even said they used a drone to attack the same ship, making things even more confusing.
These rebels are known for their love of rockets and drones, especially when it comes to targeting ships. They even grabbed a whole cargo ship once to show support for their friends in Hamas during a fight with Israel. This latest move has everyone worried about the Bab el Mandeb strait, a skinny passage that connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and is super important for shipping.
While the U.S. Navy helped out a different ship attacked by the Houthis on Tuesday, they didn't do anything right away about this latest incident. But they're not ignoring it! The U.S. is teaming up with other countries to build a big group of warships to protect ships around Yemen. This group will work with an existing one called Task Force 153 to keep things safe in the Red Sea, Bab el Mandeb, and the Gulf of Aden.
The details of this new "sea guard" are still being worked out, like which countries will join and what kind of ships they'll bring. But the U.S. promises to share more soon.
Midday Dec. 14 (Sanaa time), a ballistic missile was fired from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen toward the international shipping lane north of the Bab-el-Mandeb. There were no injuries or damage. Following the missile launch, the M/V Maersk Gibraltar was hailed by the Houthis,… pic.twitter.com/MMmDlEaywM — U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) December 14, 2023
So, while things are tense in the Red Sea right now, there's hope that working together can keep the shipping lanes open and safe for everyone.