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June sees most Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping this year

The Yemeni group continues to disrupt trade as well as claiming direct attacks on Israeli targets
A photo of what the Houthis say is an attack on the Greek-owned MV Tutor in the Red Sea, dated 12 June 2024 (Houthi Media Centre/Handout via Reuters)
A photo of what the Houthis say is an attack on the Greek-owned MV Tutor in the Red Sea, dated 12 June 2024 (Houthi Media Centre/Handout via Reuters)

Yemen’s Houthis last month carried out the largest number of attacks on commercial ships so far in 2024, according to data collected by UK Maritime Trade Operations.

June saw 16 confirmed attacks on ships, proof that the group remains a threat to global trade after months of American and British efforts to thwart it.

Only December last year saw more attacks, at a time when more vessels were going through the Bab al-Mandab strait.

The Houthis, known as Ansarallah, started targeting any ship they deemed Israel-linked traversing the Red Sea in October 2023, vowing not to stop until Israel ends its war on Gaza. Some ships with no relation to Israel have also been targeted over the past months.

At least three seafarers have been killed since November.

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On 12 June, following months of reduced activity, the group was able to carry out the second confirmed sinking of a vessel as well as the first successful attack with a seaborne drone.

The Greek-owned Tutor coal carrier was struck by missiles and an explosive-laden remote-controlled boat.

According to Bloomberg, the attacks have helped contribute to the second-largest increase in a gauge of global sea transport on record as vessels avoid the Red Sea and sail thousands of extra miles around Africa instead.

How the Houthis mined commercial intelligence to sabotage global trade
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The past days also saw an increase in direct attacks the Houthis claim to have carried out against Israel.

On Tuesday, the Yemeni group said that they, in collaboration with the Iran-backed Islamic Resistance in Iraq, conducted a joint military operation against a vital target in Israel’s port city of Haifa.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said in a televised statement that the operation was carried out with “a number of winged missiles”, without identifying the target of the attack.

Saree also made a short post on X on Tuesday, simply saying “three days”, alluding to a potential action or announcement to be made by the group soon.

In late June, the Houthis said they, along with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, targeted a Portuguese-flagged container ship in the port of Haifa with a number of drones.

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