Container ship traffic in the Red Sea has decreased by thirty percent compared to November last year, said Jihad Azour, head of the Middle East and Central Asia Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), adding that the number of shipments has fallen especially since the beginning of January.
According to data from the US Ministry of Defense, the Yemeni rebels have been fighting since November Houthi movement attacked merchant ships more than 30 times. Fighters financed by Iran They claim that in this way they support the Palestinian terrorist movement Hamas, which is fighting against Israel in the Gaza Strip. The Houthis announce they will continue these actions.
There is shelling in the coastal area Yemen: Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. As a result of the attacks, carriers are increasingly bypassing the shortest route from Asia to Europe, which leads through the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and Suez Canal, choosing instead a circular route around Africa, which is, however, longer by 10-14 days and about 6,000 km. kilometers.
Airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen
In response to attacks that threaten maritime transport, US troops have been conducting airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen since January 12.
Strikes against facilities used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and associated militias began today and will continue at a place and time of our choosing, the US president said on Friday Joe Biden. The White House reported that three facilities in Iraq and four in Iraq were attacked Syria and suggested that he would not strike inside Iran.
He also noted that United States they are not looking for conflict in the Middle East. The head of the Pentagon included the same message in his statement Lloyd Austin. He said that on Friday, 7 facilities containing 85 targets were attacked. According to U.S. Central Command, more than 125 precision missiles were used in the attack, including those fired by B-1 long-range bombers that took off from U.S. bases. The targets were to include command centers, intelligence centers and stockpiles of missiles and drones used to attack US forces in the Middle East.
A wave of bombings in retaliation
Friday’s strikes are the first but not the last wave of bombings in retaliation for an attack by Iranian-backed militias on the Tower 22 base in Jordan, which killed three American soldiers and wounded at least 40 others. Friday’s strikes took place several hours after the bodies of killed soldiers reached the US.
On Friday, the US Secretary of State announced another trip to Middle Eastern countries Antony Blinkenand one of its goals is to avoid the expansion of the conflict in the Middle East.
Main photo source: Abaca/PAP/EPA