The first armed clash resulting in deaths in the Red Sea between the United States and the Houthis in Yemen

The first armed clash resulting in deaths in the Red Sea between the United States and the Houthis in Yemen

BarcelonaThe US Naval Central Command announced that it sank three boats belonging to the Yemeni Houthi militia, in response to an attack on a ship in the Red Sea. This is the first time that a direct confrontation has occurred between the United States and the Houthis, in which the rebels suffered human losses. This may lead to the ignition of conflict in this region.

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The Houthis, rebels who control much of Yemen and are backed by Iran, have in recent weeks attacked ships in the Red Sea, a major shipping route for global trade. They say they are doing this as an act of solidarity with Palestine with the aim of preventing supplies from reaching Israel. For its part, the United States formed an international coalition this month with the aim of ensuring the safety of ships sailing there in the Red Sea.

The ship that was attacked this Sunday is called Maersk Hansjo It has the Singapore flag. In less than 24 hours, he warned that he had been the target of two attacks. The first happened on Saturday evening: US Naval Central Command shot down two missiles targeting the ship that were launched from Houthi-controlled territory. But what sparked the direct confrontation with the rebels was the second incident that occurred on Sunday.

The ship issued a second distress call at 6:30 a.m. and reported that it had been attacked by four small Houthi boats. The rebels approached the ship twenty meters away and opened fire with small arms in an attempt to storm it. Ship security personnel – ships sailing through the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandab Strait with armed personnel on board – tried to confront the attack, but they were not successful. Then he requested the intervention of the international coalition.

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The American answer

The United States' response was immediate: it sent American helicopters to the region and warned the Houthis “verbally.” The insurgents also responded by firing at the helicopters, according to a version provided by US Naval Central Command. The helicopters then opened fire “in self-defense and sank three of the four small boats and killed their crews. The fourth boat fled the area. No personal or material damage was caused,” the command said in a statement.

The incident occurred about 60 miles northwest of Hodeidah, one of the main ports in Yemen controlled by the Houthis. After suspending traffic in this region, the Danish shipping company Maersk, a few days ago, resumed passage through the Red Sea following the formation of the new international coalition led by the United States to ensure maritime security in these waters.

In the wake of the attacks, the world's major shipping lines decided to avoid crossing the Suez Canal, which transports 12% of global trade, to use an alternative route around the African continent. But this can cause a delay in the arrival of goods for about ten days, as well as an increase in import prices.

The new British Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, announced to the “X” social website that he spoke on Sunday with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, about “the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea that threaten the lives of innocent people and the global economy.” He added, “I made clear that Iran bears responsibility for preventing these attacks because of its support for the Houthis.”

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But Iran has distanced itself from the actions of the rebels on this strategic trade route.

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