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Houthis Join Forces With Iraqi Militia to Attack Israeli Ships

Yemen’s Houthis have claimed a joint operation with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacking Israeli ships at the port of Haifa, Al Jazeera has reported, citing a statement by a senior Houthi official.

In a Twitter post, the director of the office of the spokesman for the Houthi armed forces wrote that there were actually two attacks carried out by the Houthis and the Islamic Resistance in Iraq. One of these targeted ships at Haifa port while the other targeted a vessel in the Mediterranean. The ship—the Shorthorn Express—was en route to the port of Haifa.

According to Yahya Saree’s statement on television, the attacks were prompted by the four vessels at Haifa port violating a ban that the Houthi authorities had announced previously on Israel-linked ships entering Palestinian ports.

Meanwhile, the UK’s Maritime Trade Operations reported that the Houthis had struck yet another merchant vessel in Yemeni waters on Sunday.

“The Master of a merchant vessel reports being hit by uncrewed aerial system, resulting in damage to the vessel. All crew members are reported safe, and the vessel is proceeding to its next port of call,” UKMTO said.

The Houthis began attacking ships in the Red Sea in November, calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and pledging to continue targeting ships in the Red Sea until Israel stopped bombing Gaza.

The attacks on the key waterway between Europe and Asia caused a massive rerouting of vessels around Africa, making journeys between the two continents longer and more expensive, and messing up maritime schedules. 

The U.S. has been looking to deter the Houthis from attacking commercial vessels in the Red Sea and has carried out many strikes against Houthi missiles and drones in areas in Yemen controlled by the Iran-aligned group.

At the end of May, the Houthis expanded their reach and hit six vessels in three seas, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. Prior to this, the Houthis had not managed to reach as far as the Mediterranean, which is a rather troubling development for the West.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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