Houthis Target MSC and Zodiac Ships in Escalating Maritime Attacks

Escalating Maritime Attacks

25th May 2024

Report : Houthis target MSC, Zodiac ships in sea attacks.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for attacks on vessels operated by shipping giants MSC and Zodiac Maritime, raising concerns about heightened tensions in the Red Sea and Mediterranean regions. The announcement, made by Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree, comes amidst a recent trend of the group targeting ships they believe are linked to Israel.

Saree’s statement claimed that Houthi forces launched missiles at an MSC vessel in the Arabian Sea and a Zodiac Maritime-managed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) carrier in the Mediterranean. However, independent verification of these attacks or any resulting damage is currently unavailable. Security analysts suggest the Houthi language implies the missiles may not have struck their targets.

This incident follows the Houthis’ declaration on May 3rd, marking the commencement of a “fourth phase” of intensified attacks against shipping bound for Israeli ports. This raises serious concerns for the safety of commercial vessels operating in these strategic waterways.

The Houthis, a Zaidi Shia group controlling large parts of Yemen, have been engaged in a brutal civil war against the internationally recognized Yemeni government since 2015. A Saudi-led coalition intervened in the conflict on the government’s side, leading to a humanitarian crisis with millions facing starvation and disease.

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The targeting of commercial vessels is a worrying escalation in the Yemen conflict. The Red Sea and Arabian Sea are crucial shipping lanes for global trade, particularly for oil and gas exports from the Middle East. Disruptions caused by Houthi attacks could have a significant impact on the global economy.

Furthermore, the targeting of vessels in the Mediterranean, far from the Yemeni conflict zone, indicates a broader strategic intent by the Houthis. They might be attempting to pressure the international community or signal their ability to strike beyond the Arabian Peninsula.

Independent security firm Ambrey Intelligence advises merchant shipping companies to meticulously verify vessel affiliations and consult security providers when transiting the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and Eastern Mediterranean. This heightened vigilance is crucial to ensure crew safety and minimize disruptions to global trade.

Also Read : Red Sea Reroute: Houthi Attacks Drive Up Carbon Emissions by Millions

MSC and Zodiac Respond

Both MSC and Zodiac Maritime have yet to comment publicly on the Houthi claims. However, it’s likely they are working with relevant authorities to investigate the situation and ensure the safety of their crews and vessels.

International Community’s Response

The international community has a vital role to play in de-escalating the situation. The United Nations should call for an immediate cessation of attacks on commercial vessels by all parties involved in the Yemeni conflict. Additionally, renewed diplomatic efforts are necessary to find a peaceful resolution to the Yemeni civil war, which has been the root cause of regional instability.

Conclusion

The Houthi targeting of MSC and Zodiac ships raises serious concerns about the safety of commercial shipping in the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and Mediterranean. This escalation has the potential to disrupt global trade and further complicate the already dire humanitarian situation in Yemen. Concerted international efforts are needed to de-escalate tensions and find a lasting solution to the Yemeni conflict.

Also Read : Hapag-Lloyd Revolutionizes Tracking with “Live Position,” the First Fleet-Wide Dry Container Tracking Product

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