Access the latest Maritime Security Threat Advisory for the week commencing 11th December 2023.

👉 During the early morning hours of December 12th, the AS Strinda, a Norwegian-flagged tanker, was hit by a missile that was launched from Houthi territory in Yemen. It was reported the vessel was en route to an Italian port. However, the Port of Ashdod arrivals website had the AS Strinda listed as an arrival. These recent developments in the Red Sea region indicate a significant escalation in maritime risks, primarily due to the heightened tensions between Yemen's Houthi rebels and Israel.

The Houthis, an Iran-backed group, have declared their intention to target any vessel travelling through the Red Sea to or from Israel, expanding their criteria beyond ships directly associated with Israel. This would also include any vessel with a perceived connection to Israel or listed on an Israel port website. This broadening of targets marks a substantial increase in the risk for international shipping in the area.

The Houthis have previously launched attacks, including ballistic missiles and drones, towards Eilat, although these have either been intercepted or failed to hit their targets. The latest incident involved an Israeli interception of a ballistic missile over the Red Sea. The threat extends beyond military actions to commercial shipping, as the Houthis have attacked several vessels, focusing on those believed to be owned by Israeli companies, individuals with ties to Israel and now vessels calling on Israeli ports .

The recent statements by Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sare’e underscore the seriousness of the threat. Sare’e's announcement that all ships bound for Israeli ports would be targeted, irrespective of their nationality, if Gaza does not receive necessary food and medicine reflects a strategic shift in the Houthis' approach to maritime warfare. This situation has considerable implications for maritime security in the Red Sea.

The area is a critical maritime route, and the Houthis' threats could disrupt commercial shipping and pose risks to international maritime navigation. The Houthis' capability to carry out these threats and the potential for escalation necessitate a reevaluation of maritime security strategies in the region.

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