from AHMED MOOLLA in Cairo, Egypt
CAIRO, (CAJ News) – MARITIME attacks in the waters around the Arabian Peninsula are projected to intensify through at least late January amid the prevailing conflict between Hamas and Israel.
Al-Houthi forces are targeting the vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden during the onslaught against Israel-linked assets.
This is in solidarity with Palestinians amid the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip.
Al-Houthi forces have targeted at least one United States Navy warship.
A security expert projected the Al-Houthi group was likely to openly strike US and United Kingdom-linked vessels in the coming days following airstrikes by these countries against Al-Houthi targets in Yemen.
“Shipping from other states deemed by the Al-Houthis to have aided the US and UK strikes may also be targeted,” think-tank projected.
Iran, too, has seized a tanker with alleged links to the US in the Gulf of Oman and is suspected of targeting Israel-linked vessels in the Arabian Sea.
A US-led expanded maritime protection force in and around the Red Sea, dubbed Operation Prosperity Guardian, has been established to provide additional security for shipping in the region.
French, US and UK naval forces have destroyed several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), missiles, and speedboats as well as at least one unmanned surface vehicle (USV).
Meanwhile, US, Israeli and Saudi Arabian air defenses have intercepted some weaponised drones plus ballistic and cruise missiles in the Red Sea region.
Impacts have been reported in Egypt and Jordan.
Electronic interference, drone sightings, and instructions from individuals claiming to be Yemeni authorities have also been reported throughout the region in recent months.
Some major shipping companies have maintained a policy of reduced or suspended transits through the Red Sea as of mid-January.
Others have announced a partial suspension, permitting some vessels to transit the Red Sea while rerouting others around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
Fewer have implemented a total suspension.
The ongoing Hamas-Israel conflict began early October 23 but the crisis has raged for years with Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
– CAJ News