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US, British navies stave off largest Red Sea attack by Houthi rebels

Months of Iranian-backed Houthi attacks in the region have led to a 90% decline in traffic through one of the world's largest shipping routes.
US, British navies stave off largest Red Sea attack by Houthi rebels
Posted at 10:51 AM, Jan 10, 2024

Yemen's Houthi rebels have launched the group's largest attack yet in the Red Sea, with the United States and British navies engaging to repel a barrage of missiles and drones.

Four American warships and one British vessel were able to shoot down at least 21 suicide drones and anti-ship missiles fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis, which did claim responsibility for the attack. No damage to the ships has been reported.

The latest attack comes just days after Washington and London warned that there would be consequences if the Houthis kept up these attacks, and yet they've now fired the largest one since Operation Prosperity Guardian — a U.S.-led mission to protect vital shipping routes in the Red Sea. 

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Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, the Houthis have launched a series of attacks on shipping vessels in the region, despite many of their apparent targets having little to no connection to Israel. The conflict has led to a 90% decline in traffic through the Red Sea — one of the world's largest shipping routes — and forced many vessels to find alternate routes around Africa, which can add around 11 days to their journey and increase the prices of goods being traded in the region. 

The latest attack also comes as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in the Middle East again in attempt to dial down tensions and prevent the Israel-Hamas war from spreading into a wider regional conflict. Washington has continued to press Israel to scale down its offensive in Gaza, but the number of civilian deaths continues to rise each day as Israel has vowed to keep going until Hamas is completely eradicated from the region.

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