Tensions between Houthi drones and US missiles are escalating in the Red Sea

The escalation of tensions in the Red Sea led to a new episode this Sunday with allegations of crossfire between the Houthi-Shiite rebels in Yemen and the United States Naval Central Command (CENTCOM) against drones or ships sailing in the area.

Yemeni insurgents today accused the United States of attacking a Shiite drone with missiles during a reconnaissance mission over the Red Sea and that it exploded near an unharmed Gabon ship.

The US, meanwhile, did not comment on the matter, but earlier in the day reported the firing of two anti-ship missiles on maritime trade routes in the southern Red Sea from areas controlled by the Houthis, as well as drone strikes on oil tankers and military ships that were not damaged.

Added to this geopolitical body is the Council of the European Union (EU), which announced today its intention to continue work on “modalities” to contribute to freedom of navigation in the area, which the United States approved early last week an international coalition had announced such a body.

Accusations and crossfire

The spokesman for the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Mohamed Abdulsalam, explained his reconnaissance work on the Red Sea.

According to Abdulsalam, “one of the rockets exploded near a ship that was en route to the southern Red Sea from Russian ports and belonged to the Republic of Gabon.”

So far, the US has not issued a statement, but this morning CENTCOM reported that it had detected the launch of “two Houthi anti-ship missiles” towards the maritime transit zone on Saturday, without receiving “any ship report” of any impact ballistic missiles”.

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This report coincided with the British Navy’s report released yesterday afternoon, which warned of two new “incidents” near the Bab al-Mandeb Strait near the Yemeni ports of Salef and Al Hodeida as oil tankers were underway, one of them with the Norwegian flag and another with the Indian flag, and which were not damaged.

Alliances for Security

The Houthis’ position and their crackdown on ships in the Red Sea intensified after the United States announced early last week the formation of a multinational coalition to protect maritime shipping and international trade in the region.

On December 20, at an extraordinary meeting at the Political and Security Committee of the Council of the European Union, the ambassadors of the Twenty-Seven agreed to contribute to the US operation “Guardian of Prosperity” through the EUNavfor Atalanta community mission. , promoted to ensure security in the Red Sea.

“Work in the Council on the modalities of the contribution of the EU and its Member States to freedom of navigation in the Red Sea continues,” Community sources told EFE.

However, Spain made clear on Saturday that it defends the creation of a specific mission in the Red Sea with “its own scope, means and objectives” to protect commercial maritime traffic from Houthi attacks, rather than acting through the Atalanta mission. Funded by the EU in 2008 to combat piracy in Indian Ocean waters off the coast of Somalia.

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