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U.S. Official Says Iran Is “Very Directly Involved” in Houthi Attacks

Iran is “very directly involved” in attacks on ships in the Red Sea staged by Yemen’s Houthis, the head of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet told the AP.

“Clearly, the Houthi actions, probably in terms of their attacks on merchant shipping, are the most significant that we’ve seen in two generations,” Vice Admiral Brad Cooper said. “The facts simply are that they’re attacking the international community; thus, the international response I think you’ve seen.”

The Houthis began attacking Israel-bound and Israel-linked ships in the Red Sea in November as a form of protest against Israel’s bombing of Gaza. With time, the attacks extended to vessels with no Israel affiliation. 

In the meantime, the U.S. and UK sent more ships to the Red Sea and started shooting down Houthi drones and missiles. This unsurprisingly led to attacks on those ships, which in turn prompted retaliation by the U.S. and the UK.

After that retaliation, the Houthis declared that any U.S. ship in the Red Sea was now a legitimate target.

The quickly escalating situation has caused a large-scale rerouting of vessels around Africa, causing delays in the delivery of various goods, components, and raw materials. The supply situation is particularly troublesome in Europe, which is where goods passing the Red Sea normally end up.

The Financial Times reported earlier this week that the Houthi attacks and the resulting cargo rerouting had added some two weeks on average to the usual journey from Asia to Europe, causing chaos and much higher prices.

The great Red Sea rerouting has also involved oil and LNG tankers, sparking concern that the conflict in the Middle East will finally affect international oil prices, which had remained surprisingly resilient for months.


By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on January 23 2024 said:
    Long before the Hamas-Israel war I said the situation in the global oil market is like the calm before the storm.

    The storm has been gaining momentum since the Houthis of Yemen started targeting Israeli-affiliated and Israeli-bound shipping in the RedvSea. This was followed by US and U.K. retaliatory attacks on Houthis and attacks by Iran’s allies on US bases in Iraq, Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan and also Israeli attacks on Iranian military assets in Syria.

    I believe that the storm is going to erupt very soon with the head of the US 5th Fleet accusing Iran with being involved in the Houthis attacks on shipping.

    While it has been known that Iran has been supplying the Houthis with weapons and training them long before the Hamas-Israel war, the announcement by the head of the US 5th Fleet is ominous and could be interpreted as a deliberate attempt to accuse Iran with involvement in the Hamas-Israel war as a pretext for an attack by the US and Israel on Iranian nuclear installations with the aim of destroying them once for all.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert
  • fredric longabard on January 23 2024 said:
    OMG, he woke up and looked in the mirror and discovered he had a nose on his face.

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