Red Sea crisis: Ship attacks, air raids over vital route

AFP , Tuesday 23 Jan 2024

US and UK strikes on rebel-held Yemen have marked a sharp rise in tensions around the Red Sea, where Iran-backed Huthi insurgents have been attacking shipping.

Typhoon FGR4
A Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 taking off to carry out Air Strikes against Houthi military targets in Yemen from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, on January, 2024. AFP

 

The Huthi attacks since November, which the group says target vessels linked to Israel and are in support of Gaza, have disrupted shipping in the vital route which normally carries around 12 percent of global maritime trade.

Here is a timeline of recent events:

January 12
US and UK forces strike 60 Huthi missile and radar targets at 16 locations in rebel-held Yemen, the US military says, in a barrage involving more than 150 precision-guided munitions.

Five people are killed and six wounded, according to Huthi officials. In retaliation, the Huthis fire "at least one" missile without hitting any target.

The rebels declare American and British interests as "legitimate targets" after the overnight strikes.

January 13
A further US strike hits the rebels' Al-Dailami airbase in the capital Sanaa, the US military says in what it calls a "follow-on action" related to the previous day's strikes.

The Huthis warn they will continue attacking ships in the Red Sea.

January 14
US forces shoot down a Huthi cruise missile fired at the USS Laboon destroyer.

January 15
A Huthi missile hits the US-owned cargo ship Gibraltar Eagle in the Gulf of Aden, south of the Red Sea, causing a fire on board but no casualties.

January 16
The United States destroys four anti-ship ballistic missiles it says were being prepared to launch from Huthi-controlled Yemen.

Later, a Huthi missile strikes a Greek-owned, Malta-flagged bulk carrier sailing in the Red Sea, causing limited damage and no injuries.

January 17
A Huthi drone strikes the US-owned bulk carrier Genco Picardy, causing "some damage" but no injuries, US Central Command says.

US forces then take out 14 missiles that it says were "loaded to be fired" from Huthi-controlled Yemen.

January 18
The Huthis claim "direct hits" on a US cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden, although US forces say the missiles missed.

The United States also says it hit two anti-ship missiles that were prepared for launch into the Red Sea.

January 19
The US military carries out three "successful self-defence strikes", targeting missile launchers that were preparing for attacks on shipping, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby says.

January 20
Another round of US air strikes targets a Huthi anti-ship missile, US Central Command says.

January 22
The Huthis say they struck a US cargo ship with missiles. A US defence official denies the claim.

January 23
The United States and Britain carry out their second joint military operation, hitting eight targets in rebel-held Yemen, they say.

The Huthis' military spokesman Yahya Saree, listing 18 raids, vows not to leave the attack "unpunished".

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