Red Sea on edge: Houthi attacks disrupt vital shipping routes

Red Sea on edge: Houthi attacks disrupt vital shipping routes


16 | 02 | 2024


Concern about a potential contagion to the Strait of Hormuz, this time by the Iranians themselves, in the case of a broader conflict in the Middle East

En la imagen

Ship tracking in a specific daytime before the Houthi’s attacks; Bad-el-Mandeb Strait is marked with a circle []

The Red Sea, an essential conduit for international commerce, is becoming more susceptible to assaults perpetrated by Yemen's Houthi insurgents. The targeting of commercial vessels in these attacks has raised concerns about the safety of the region's maritime activities and presents substantial risks to global supply lines.

The military retaliation to Hamas’ invasion in Israeli territory on October 7, 2023, has thrust the previously unfamiliar Houthis of Yemen into the spotlight. Their harassment to international maritime business in the Red Sea has aroused global concerns about the safety of the region's marine activity and presents considerable hazards to global supply chains.

The Houthi movement is a Zaidi religious and political group based in Yemen. The Houthis identify themselves as ‘Ansar Allah’, or supporters of God; they are commonly known by the name of their founder, Hussein al-Houthi.[1] Originating from a small Shia Muslim sect in northern Yemen, they gained prominence as an insurgent faction engaged in armed conflict against the regime of Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh during the 1990s. The movement was profoundly radicalized by the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, as were other Arab groups. In response to the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Houthis embraced the slogan: “God is great; death to the US; death to Israel; curse the Jews; and victory for Islam.”[2] This was a pivotal moment that went mostly unnoticed beyond Yemen, yet another unforeseen outcome of US military actions in Iraq.

Saleh was ultimately overthrown during protests related to the Arab Spring in 2012, and the Houthis capitalized on the resulting power vacuum to capture the capital, Sana’a, in 2014. Since that year, Yemen has been embroiled in a violent civil war, with the Houthis—who get substantial financial and military backing from Iran—[3] battling against Yemen's internationally recognized government and a coalition commanded by Saudi Arabia (backed by the United States). 

The war has been going on for almost a decade and has resulted in the death of over 377,000 individuals, according to the United Nations.[4] The majority of these deaths were caused by starvation, contaminated water, and inadequate medical care, all of which were exacerbated by the ongoing fighting. The level of violence decreased after a ceasefire was negotiated by the United Nations in 2022.

At present, the Houthis have dominion over around one-third of Yemen's land, including the capital city, and between 70% to 80% of its population, in spite of which they lack recognition from the international community as the legitimate government of Yemen.[5] The recent incidents in the Red Sea illustrate that the conflict in Yemen is not confined to the country exclusively. The intervention of the Houthis in the Red Sea in support of Hamas destabilizes the region and threatens with an extension of the war between Israel and the Palestinian group.

The Red Sea is a crucial maritime choke point characterized by two narrow passages: the Suez Canal in the north, located in Egypt, and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait—20 miles wide at its narrowest point and currently the epicenter of Houhtis’ attacks—, situated between Yemen and Djibouti on the eastern coast of Africa; estimates indicate that around 12% to 15% of global trade passes through this specific sea route, accounting for approximately 30% of the overall global container traffic.[6] Additionally, around 7% to 10% of the worldwide oil supply and 8% of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are conveyed along the same waterway.

After the Hamas attacks on October 7 and the subsequent Israeli military operation in Gaza, Iran-supported armed factions in the region, commonly known as the ‘Axis of Resistance,’ including the Houthis, Hezbollah in Lebanon,[7] and various militias in Iraq and Syria, have intensified their assaults on both Israel and US military installations.[8]

Houthi attacks

Among all these factions, the Houthis’ activities in the conflict have been particularly bold, mostly due to their considerable geographical distance from the actual battleground. The Houthis have been consistently launching ballistic missiles towards Israel, which is located over 1,000 miles away from Yemen. In October, they officially declared hostilities against Israel and launched a small number of missiles into Israel’s Port of Eilat.[9] All missiles launched from Yemen have been successfully intercepted by Israel’s Arrow missile defense system or by US naval forces in the Red Sea. The Houthis have also previously launched missile attacks on targets located in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.[10]

The Houthis assert that the attacks are a demonstration of their solidarity with Hamas, their Palestinian counterpart.[11] In mid-November, as it became evident that they lacked the necessary missiles to directly harm Israel, the Houthi rebels shifted their focus to targeting ships that were passing via the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Red Sea. Houthis’ tactics have involved firing ballistic missiles and drones against maritime traffic in the Red Sea, as well as forcibly boarding and taking control of ships through the use of helicopters and speedboats.

On November 19, for example, heliborne Houthi rebels forcibly boarded and took control of the ‘Galaxy Leader,’ a cargo ship that is partly owned by an Israeli businessman.[12] After the interception, the Bahamas-flagged vessel was taken to the port of Hodeidah, which is under the authority of the Houthi group. The ‘Galaxy Leader’ was held off the coast of Yemen, with its crew held captive and only allowed modest contact with their families.[13]

Subsequently, throughout the month after, the Houthis carried out a minimum of 100 assaults of varying severity against 12 different commercial ships in the Red Sea, most of which have little or no direct affiliation with Israel.[14]

Several of these Houthis attacks have showcased remarkable technological innovation, potentially marking the first deployment of an anti-ship ballistic missile in combat by any armed force.[15] These high-altitude and fast speed missiles have the capability to substantially extend the range at which military forces can attack adversary vessels whilst rendering many current defense systems obsolete. The Houthis possess two types of large anti-ship ballistic missiles, the ‘Asef’ and the ‘Tankil,’ both, probably, an adaptation from pre-existing Iranian designs.[16] Notwithstanding, the models utilized by the Houthis appear to have a relatively lower level of sophistication compared to those tested by nations such as China in the South China Sea.[17]

Trade disruption

To avoid the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, shipping companies have opted for the alternative route via the Cape of Good Hope which increases the length of the voyage from Asia to northern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean to 11,800 nautical miles in a 36-day journey, adding 3,000 nautical miles and 10 days, respectively, by disrupting the initial shortest shipping chain connecting Shanghai, China, to the Dutch port of Rotterdam.[18] This long swing around Africa became practically obsolete with the opening of the Suez Canal over 150 years ago.

The majority of the world’s leading container-shipping corporations,[19] such as Maersk from Denmark, Hapag-Lloyd from Germany, and Cosco from China, have ceased transporting goods via the Red Sea. Even BP, the oil firm, is doing the same.[20] Approximately 7 million barrels of oil are typically transported through the ocean on a daily basis.[21] Despite this, there are ships still navigating through the Red Sea but the VesselFinder tracking site demonstrates that a significant number of them have activated their transponders to signal the presence of armed guards on board.[22]

The route has seen disruptions in the past, particularly in 2021 when the container ship ‘Ever Given’ ran aground in the Suez Canal, resulting in a week-long obstruction of commerce.[23] Nonetheless, the present disturbance has the capacity to endure for a significantly extended period, resulting in considerably graver repercussions.

This crisis has occurred at an inopportune moment for the global shipping industry, which is in the midst of a slump due to stagnant global industrial output and the return of consumer demand to pre-pandemic levels.[24]Shippers are concerned not just about the potential danger to their ships, cargo, and personnel, but also the expenses associated with insuring against such risks. The insurance companies have increased the war risk premiums for ships in the Red Sea from approximately 0.07% of a ship’s value in early December to approximately 0.5% in Jauary.[25] If these premiums continue to increase, the cost of shipping in the Red Sea could become excessively expensive, especially given the high value of oil tankers, which can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Estimates from the freight platform Xeneta indicate that each round trip on the longer voyage will result in an additional fuel cost of up to $1 million.[26] Retailers and manufacturers will likely transfer the increased expenses to customers, perhaps leading to an increase in inflation during an extended period of cost-of-living crisis.

Oil prices have experienced an uptick after a downward trend over the past two months due primarily as a result of reduced demand from major consumers like China.[27] Markets have registered a recent increase of over $1 per barrel[28]; following BP’s announcement to suspend its liquefied natural gas exports to the Red Sea, European natural gas prices have also experienced a 7% jump.[29]

Moreover, the disruption occurs during a period when numerous European economies have had to augment their reliance on shipborne oil and natural gas, much of which originates from the Middle East[30], to reduce their dependency on Russian pipelines following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. For instance, Italy[31], France[32], and the Netherlands[33] have all signed long-term LNG contracts with Qatar in October this year. This move highlights the growing value of Qatar[34] as a major gas supplier in the future and the vital trading pathway for LNG from the Arabian Peninsula to Europe. Concurrently, Russia has boosted its own oil exports[35] to India, China, and other Asian markets and a considerable amount of this oil is transported via ships across the Red Sea as well. Therefore, the Red Sea oil traffic has increased by 140% due to the redirection of cargoes.

Certain nations, notably the cash-strapped government of Egypt,[36] may experience a direct effect. Egypt generates almost $9 billion a year from fees collected for the transit of ships via the Suez Canal. But given the complex and interconnected system of global trade facilitated by maritime shipping, it is certain that other countries, including Jordan and Saudi Arabia, will also experience indirect consequences. Nevertheless, the impact on the Israelis will be minimal as their primary ports are situated along the Mediterranean coastline.

Considering that the Houthis are not actively engaging in attacks on Israeli ships and that only a small fraction of approximately 5% of Israel’s trade relies on the Red Sea,[37] it is possible that their motivation for such actions is to enhance their domestic reputation and position themselves as the authentic defender of the Arab population. This strategy aims to improve their standing not only among the Yemeni public but also among other Arab groups, who are generally dissatisfied with their leaders’ hesitancy to respond to Israeli actions. But more importantly, their main aim is to force the international community to withdraw its support for Israel and to bring the Palestinian cause to the forefront.


US reaction

To respond to this growing challenge to global stability, the US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, on December 18th, announced Operation ‘Prosperity Guardian,’[38] a multinational naval operation under the umbrella of the Combined Maritime Forces and the leadership of its Task Force 153, consisting of 10 nations aimed at safeguarding maritime transportation in the Southern Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb and Gulf of Aden.

Ships from the United States, France, and Britain in the area have been effectively intercepting and destroying numerous drones operated by the Houthi group; Greece and Australia have also become members of the coalition, together with Bahrain and the Seychelles, bringing the coalition up to 20 members, some of which have agreed to contribute with a limited amount of personnel.[39]

Notably, some European nations like Spain, Italy, and France, have declined the US’ request for their ships to be placed under the direction of the US Navy while deployed in the operation.[40] Western countries are facing increasing demands to enhance their efforts in safeguarding international shipping. Yet, Austin added that at least eight participating countries have chosen not to be identified publicly.

Spain has stated that it will only consent to a military mission under the leadership of NATO or the European Union.[41] The Italian frigate ‘Virginio Fasan’ will continue to be stationed in the region, but it is not going to participate in Operation ‘Prosperity Guardian.’ France is currently involved in the situation, but it has made it clear that it will not permit its ships to be placed under the direction of the United States. Hence, the specific size and operational procedures of this task group remain uncertain.

In response to the coalition, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a high-ranking leader of Yemeni Ansar Allah, has announced that Yemen will direct its attacks at the ships of nations that have joined the US-led naval coalition against Yemen in the Red Sea.[42] The Houthis remain unperturbed by the formation of the new task force; as expressed by a spokeswoman, “Our war is a moral war, and therefore, no matter how many alliances America mobilizes, our military operations will not stop.”[43]

Alongside the establishment of the new task force, the United States has deployed the ‘Dwight D. Eisenhower’ carrier strike group to the vicinity of Yemen’s waterways with the intention of bolstering a potential subsequent American reaction to the strikes.

More recently, the Biden administration and its allies issued a warning that there would be consequences to the non-stop attacks by the Houthis. On January 11, US and British warplanes, ships, and submarines carried out numerous airstrikes against Houthi forces in Yemen. According to the Pentagon, the joint US-British attack has significantly diminished the Houthis’ ability to carry out attacks, particularly intricate operations similar to the ones they executed earlier this week.[44] The US military reported that it successfully targeted 60 objectives across 28 different locations, employing over 150 munitions. President Joe Biden affirmed that the strikes will persist “as necessary” in order to protect the free movement of global trade.[45]

Following January 11, the Houthis have persistently launched missiles against ships on an almost regular basis.[46] On January 14, the US Navy successfully shot down a Houthi anti-ship cruise missile in the vicinity of the coast of Hudaydah with no injuries or damage.[47] Although it failed to hit its intended target, the missile effectively fulfilled its objective by maintaining heightened tensions and deterring Western vessels heading to Israel. However, the United States’ capacity to consistently intercept missiles is far from certain: on January 15, a Houthi missile effectively struck an American-owned container ship in the Gulf of Aden.[48] Consequently, the Houthis have already achieved their goal of causing economic harm to Israel, while simultaneously undermining the efforts of President Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to restore deterrence.

Mohammed Abdulsalam, the chief negotiator for the Houthis, stated that the group’s stance remained unaltered following the strikes conducted by the United States. He also suggested that the strikes will persist against vessels en route to Israel by highlighting that their position on the events in Palestine “has not changed and would not change, neither after the strike nor after the threats.”[49]

Over the past two decades, the United States has conducted hundreds of drone strikes on suspected terrorist targets in Yemen.[50] Notwithstanding, this could mark a major shift in direction for the Biden administration because in 2021, the US government initially suspended assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen as one of its first foreign policy actions and has also been reducing the extent of the US drone warfare.[51]

Furthermore, China, which has a military installation in Djibouti and relies heavily on importing oil from the Middle East and shipping consumer goods to Europe by sea, has not figured as a key stakeholder in the conflict. Although Hong Kong-flagged vessel ‘Maersk Gibraltar’ has been among those attacked.[52] Beijing has shifted to a more proactive stance in the political affairs of the region. This includes facilitating a historic diplomatic agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran earlier this year.[53]

Despite the US and Chinese navies having previously collaborated together in the region, such as in combating Somali piracy a decade ago, the current geopolitical tensions between the two nations is significantly elevated.[54] Conversely to Beijing's participation in the multinational task force, the Pentagon has accused Chinese navy warships of disregarding a distress signal from an Israeli-owned tanker that was attacked in late November.[55]

Another country that is absent is Saudi Arabia, which is particularly unexpected considering its long-standing confrontation with the Houthis. But Saudi leaders, who have recently been making efforts to distance themselves from the violent and expensive Yemen conflict and have facilitated multiple rounds of peace negotiations with the Houthis, have allegedly urged the US to show restraint in its response to the attacks on shipping.[56]

In addition, the Iranian government has explicitly stressed that it does not intend to directly intervene with its own military forces. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei informed Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that Tehran will not participate in the battle against Israel because they were not informed in advance of their destructive terrorist attack on October 7.[57]

What’s next

For what could happen next, there are echoes of the so-called ‘Tanker War’ of the 1980s, which saw Iraq attack container ships exporting Iranian oil in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988).[58] This was because Iraq relied on overland pipelines to Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula for most of its oil exports. In response, Iran attacked ships leaving Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which were supporting Iraq. Their concern was the potential impact on oil prices. To protect the ships, the US Navy began providing escorts in the region. However, in 1987, an Iraqi aircraft shot down the US ‘Star’, resulting in the death of 37 US Navy personnel. Although the US and Iraq both acknowledged that the attack was unintentional, it illustrates the potential for inadvertent escalation, even though direct escalation was prevented.

In the aforementioned war, the threats came from aircraft and small boats, but in this scenario a greater western naval presence in the Red Sea is expected to be very expensive, risks overstretching the fleets of the US and its allies, and presents many challenges in terms of effectively safeguarding every civilian vessel.

Regardless of the outcome, the situation might have enduring repercussions that extend well beyond the Red Sea. The world economy continues to heavily depend on shipping, which constitutes approximately 80% of global trade.[59] Recent years have provided enough evidence of how armed conflict can hinder trade, as seen in the disruption of grain shipping via the Black Sea due to Russia's naval blockade of Ukraine and the Houthis’ operations in the Red Sea.[60]

Analysts even express apprehension on the potential impact of the unrest in the Middle East on the Strait of Hormuz, which serves as the passage connecting the Arabian Sea and lies between Iran and the UAE.[61]Additionally, the Bab el-Mandeb is not the sole international shipping chokepoint experiencing difficulty. In view of a severe drought, the low water levels in the Panama Canal means that it is currently operating at reduced capacity, restricting the passage of ships.[62]

This conflict has fundamentally altered the previously held beliefs regarding the balance of naval power as we are now witnessing the capabilities of the Houthis without any navy at all. Yet, the Houthis will likely struggle to effectively counter a true response spearheaded by the United States. However, the boldness and strategic approach of the Houthi insurgents may indicate not only imminent financial damage, but also the risk of a wider regional security crisis if prompt and decisive action is not taken by the international community to prevent further disruptions to this crucial maritime pathway and safeguard global trade.

The military actions carried out by the United States could potentially increase the likelihood of a regional conflict, particularly with Iran, as evidenced by their deployment of a warship in the same area. Meanwhile, the Houthis publicly relish the prospect of going to war with the United States. Unlike in 2016, when Houthi rebels attacked US commercial and military vessels and Washington responded with attacks of its own, and the Houthis withdrew, they are currently not engaged in an ongoing battle with neighboring Saudi Arabia.[63]Despite this, experts suggest that US strikes might conceivably reignite Yemen’s internal civil war, and that every possible course of action available to the West carries “serious downsides.”[64] The conflict is expected to intensify until one of the parties ceases its aggressive actions. Based on the current events, it seems unlikely that either the Houthis or the US and its allies will yield to each other’s demands in the short term.


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[2] Riedel, Bruce. “Who Are the Houthis, and Why Are We at War with Them?”, Brookings, December 18, 2018.

[3] Lane, Ashley. “Iran’s Islamist Proxies in the Middle East”, Wilson Center, September 12, 2023.

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[7] Lucic, Ante. “Hezbollah: An Iranian Project?”, National Security and the Future, October, 2009.,%20br.%201,%202009/04_NSF_CLANAK_3.pdf

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[13] Saul, Jonathan. “Crew of Seized Galaxy Leader Allowed ‘modest’ Contact with Families  -Shipowner.” Reuters, December 5, 2023.

[14] Bertrand, Natasha., and Williams, Michael. “US and allies scramble to respond to Houthi attacks on key Red Sea shipping lanes.” CNN, December 20, 2023.

[15] Roblin, Sébastien. “We might have just seen the world’s first anti-ship ballistic missile attack.” Popular Mechanics, December 1, 2023.

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[17] Chang, Feliz K. “China’s Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Capability in the South China Sea.” Foreign Policy Research Institute, May 4, 2021.

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[19] Miller, Greg. “Red Sea Chaos Should Boost Tanker and Container Shipping Rates.” Freight Waves, January 17, 2024.

[20] Jones, Lora. “BP pauses all Red Sea shipments after rebel attacks.” BBC, December 18, 2023.

[21] Henderson, Bob. “Red Sea disruptions aren’t expected to have a big effect on oil prices: Goldman Sachs.” Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2023.

[23] Arvin, Jariel. “A Massive Ship Is Stuck in the Suez Canal, Disrupting Trade and Inspiring Hilarious Memes.” Vox, March 24, 2021.

[24] Kemp, John. “Global Container Freight Still Stalled.” Reuters, September 8, 2023.

[25] Saul, Jonathan. “London marine insurers widen high risk zone in Red Sea as attacks surge.” Reuters, December 18, 2023.

[26] Williams, Abby. “Freight Rates Spike as Red Sea Shipping Disruptions Surge.” The DCN, December 20, 2023.

[27] Henderson, Bob. “Red Sea disruptions aren’t expected to have a big effect on oil prices: Goldman Sachs.” Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2023.

[28] Khan, Shariq. “Oil rises 1% as Red Sea shipping concerns unnerve traders.” Reuters, December 19, 2023.

[29] Katanich, Doloresz. “European Gas Prices Soar after Egypt Reports Zero Imports.” Euro News, October 30, 2023.

[30] Faucon, Benoit., Said, Summer., and Kalin, Stephen. “Europe Woos Qatar for an Alternative to Russian Gas.” Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2022.

[31] Saba, Yousef. “Qatar signs 27-year gas supply deal with Italy’s Eni.” Reuters, October 23, 2023.

[32] Reuters. “Qatar Energy, Total Energies Sign 27-Year LNG Supply Agreement.” Reuters, October 11, 2023.

[33] Nair, Adveith., and Stapczynski, Stephen. “Shell Agrees to Buy Gas from Qatar for Netherlands Past 2050.” Bloomberg, October 18, 2023.

[35] Lee, Julian., and Wittels, Jack. “Russia War in Ukraine Revives Red Sea as a Vital Oil Route.” Bloomberg, December 19, 2023.

[36] Mills, Robin. “Why Red Sea Attacks Pose a Threat to Energy Security.” The National, December 18, 2023.

[37] TLDR News Global. “Why are the Houthis Attacking Ships in the Red Sea?”YouTube, 2023.

[38] “Statement from Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on Ensuring Freedom of Navigation in the Red Sea.” U.S. Department of Defense, December 18, 2023.

[39] Apps, Peter. “Opinion: US and Allies Face Tough Choices amid Growing Red Sea Crisis.” gCaptain, December 21, 2023.

[40] Al Mayadeen English. “Operation Prosperity Guardian 'showing major cracks' amid escalations.” The War Zone, December 24, 2023.

[41] Reuters. “What Is U.S.-Led Red Sea Coalition and Which Countries Are Backing It?” Reuters, December 22, 2023.

[42] Reuters. “US-Formed Coalition in Red Sea Part of Aggression against Palestinians, Yemen’s Houthis Say.” Reuters, December 19, 2023.

[43] Al-Mujahid, Ali., Suliman, Adela., and Dadouch, Sarah. “New U.S.-led Red Sea task force won’t stop shipping attacks, Houthis say.” The Washington Post, December 19, 2023.

[44] Sabbagh, Dan., and Borger, Julian. “US and UK Strike Houthi Sites in Yemen in Response to ‘unprecedented’ Attacks.” The Guardian, January 12, 2024.

[45] White House. “Statement from President Joe Biden on Coalition Strikes in Houthi-Controlled Areas in Yemen.” The White House, January 11, 2024.

[46] The Maritime Executive. “Houthis Launch New Attacks in Gulf of Aden Hours after US-UK Strikes.” The Maritime Executive, January 12, 2024.

[47] U.S Central Command. “On Jan. 14 at approximately 4:45 p.m. (Sanaa time), an anti-ship cruise missile was fired from Iranian-backed Houthi militant areas of Yemen toward USS Laboon (DDG 58), which was operating in the Southern Red Sea. The missile was shot down in vicinity of the coast of Hudaydah by U.S. fighter aircraft. There were no injuries or damage reported.” X, January 15, 2024.

[48] Pelham, Lipika. “Houthi missile hits U.S-owned container ship in Gulf of Aden.” BBC News, January 16, 2024.

[49] Sabbagh, Dan., and Borger, Julian. “US and UK Strike Houthi Sites in Yemen in Response to ‘unprecedented’ Attacks.” The Guardian, January 12, 2024.

[50] New America. “America’s Counterterrorism Wars.” New America. Accessed January 5, 2024.

[51] Borger, Julian., and Wintour, Patrick. “Biden announces end to US support for Saudi-led offensive in Yemen”. The Guardian, February 5, 2021.

[52] Gambrell, Jon. “Missile fired from rebel-controlled Yemen misses a container ship in Bab el-Mandeb Strait”. AP News, December 15, 2023.

[53] Mubarak, Hussein. “Saudi Arabia and Iran Restore Relations: A Victory of Necessity.” Wilson Center, June 5, 2023.

[54] Bodeen, Christopher. “US praises China anti-piracy role off Somalia.” The San Diego Union Tribune, February 28, 2009.

[55] Brar, Aadil. “Chinese Navy Ignored SOS Call as US and Ally Stopped Pirate Attack.” Newsweek, November 28, 2023.

[56] El Yaakoubi, Aziz., and Hafezi, Parisa. “Saudi Arabia urges US restraint as Houthis attack ships in Red Sea.” Reuters, December 7, 2023.

[57] Staff, Toi. “Khamenei told Hamas chief Iran will not directly enter war – report.” The Times of Israel, November 15, 2023.

[58] Strauss Center for International Security and Law. “Strait of Hormuz: Assessing the threat to oil flows through the Strait.” University of Texas, n.d.

[59] International Chamber of Shipping. “Shipping and world trade: driving prosperity.” ICS, n.d.

[60] General Secretariat of the Council. “Infographic - Ukrainian grain exports explained.” Council of the EU and the European Council, January 22, 2024.

[61] Henderson, Bob. “Red Sea disruptions aren’t expected to have a big effect on oil prices: Goldman Sachs.” Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2023.

[62] LaRacco, Lori Ann. “Panama Canal drought hits new crisis level with nearly half of vessel traffic targeted for cuts.” CNBC, November 3, 2023.

[63] Robinson, Kali. “Yemen’s Tragedy: War, Stalemate, and Suffering.” Council on Foreign Relations, May 1, 2023.

[64] Jones, Bruce. “The West’s 3 Options to Combat the Houthi Attacks.” Foreign Policy, December 20, 2023.