Photo Credit: Henry Ridgwell (VOA) via Wikimedia

The United States, United Kingdom and possibly one other unnamed European nation are planning to announce preparations for a large scale military operation against Yemen’s Houthi rebels in response to repeated attacks by the Iranian proxy on commercial shipping vessel in the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, according to a report by The Sunday Times.

US Navy Sinks Three ‘Iranian-Backed Houthi Small Boats’


This weekend, US Navy helicopters sank three “Iranian-backed Houthi small boats” in the southern Red Sea, killing the crews, according to US Central Command (CENTCOM).

The attacks came in response to Houthi attacks on the MAERSK Hangzhou container ship earlier in the day. The small boats, originating from Houthi-controlled Yemen, fired at the MAERSK ship and attempted to board it.

According to the report by The Times, the US and the UK are preparing to launch a wave of air strikes against the Houthis, possibly with the participation of at least one European nation and maybe more, after a final warning is issued.

Despite the announcement by the United States nearly two weeks ago that it was forming a multinational maritime task force to patrol the waterway and ward off the Houthi attacks, the Houthis vowed not to stop their attacks on ships in the Red Sea, particularly those in transit to or from Israel.

Most of the world’s top shipping companies announced they would suspend Red Sea operations for the time being and instead reroute their vessel around the Horn of Africa, a much longer route that also avoids the Suez Canal and which has raised insurance and shipping costs.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.