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. “Shattering the Supply Chain: How Houthi Attacks in the Red Sea are a Global Threat

The recent recent string of attacks in the Red Sea attributed to Houthi forces has reignited concerns about global supply chains. Shi’a Houthi forces have responded to the growing military presence of the Saudi-UAE Joint Forces Command (JFC) in Yemen with a series of naval, air, and surface attacks on Red Sea shipping. The attacks threaten not only the flow of goods and services across the region but could also harm the international trading system. Beginning in May of 2020, the Houthis have launched a series of attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea that have raised regional tensions and could have long-term implications for global trade. In the first set of attacks, at least three fuel tankers were damaged in an apparent attempt by the Houthis to disrupt the flow of oil and gas to Saudi Arabia and potentially disrupt global shipping in the region. A week later, two tankers carrying refined petroleum products were struck by Houthi militias approximately 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the coast of Jazan, Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-led JFC condemned the attacks as “grave violations of international law.” The effects of the Houthi-led attacks in the Red Sea are far-reaching and could have a significant impact on global trading patterns. The Red Sea, after all, connects some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Approximately 3.4 million barrels of oil, refined petroleum products, and chemicals travel through the Suez Canal and the Bab el-Mandeb strait each day. These key shipping routes not only provide vital energy resources to the world economy but also provide critical pathways between the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Any disruption in maritime traffic along these routes could have profound effects on global supply chains and the world economy at large. Moreover, the Houthi attacks could lead to further insecurity in the shipping sector. If shipping companies become increasingly hesitant to navigate the Red Sea due to the threat of attack, it could mean higher shipping costs as companies turn to alternative routes or pay premiums for greater security. This could hurt commercial and business interests in the region as well as the global economy. The recent spike in Houthi-led attacks in the Red Sea is alarming and could have far-reaching implications for global trade. The attacks threaten maritime traffic in the region, which could lead to higher shipping costs and put pressure on global supply chains. It is an issue that must be addressed to ensure the free flow of goods and services across the region and around the world.