Red Sea crisis

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Red Sea crisis
Part of the spillover of the Israel–Hamas war, the Iran–Israel proxy conflict, the Iran–United States proxy conflict, the Russia–United States proxy conflict and the Yemeni crisis

Map of Houthi activity near the Yemeni coast:
  Houthi-controlled Yemen (SPC)
  Government of Yemen (PLC)
   Houthi attacks (red) and hijackings (blue)
Date19 October 2023 – present
(8 months, 3 weeks and 2 days)
Location
Status Ongoing
Belligerents
 Yemen (SPC)[a]
Axis of Resistance
 Israel
Independent Patrols:
Commanders and leaders
Units involved
See #Order of battle
Strength
  Yemeni Armed Forces (SPC)
Iran1 Alvand-class frigate
Iran 1 Intel ship
Casualties and losses

Per Houthis:
  50 killed[19][20]
  35 injured
Per Skynews Arabia & PLC-led government:
  136+ killed[d]


14 detained[23]
3 declared dead
MQ-9 Reapers lost
(3 confirmed shotdown by Houthis per US)[26]
(6 shotdown per Houthis)[27]
6 Egyptian civilians wounded, one Vietnamese and three Filipino sailors killed and eight injured
30 May
Two ships have been hijacked by Houthi militants; one ship and 25 crew members remain in Houthi custody, while one ship has been released. At least 30 ships have been damaged by Houthi attacks. One UK-owned and one Greek-owned cargo ship sunk.[35][36]

The Red Sea crisis[37][38] began on 19 October 2023, when the Iran-backed Ansar Allah (Houthi movement) in Yemen launched missiles and armed drones at Israel, demanding an end to the invasion of the Gaza Strip.[39] The Houthis have since seized and launched aerial attacks against dozens of merchant and naval vessels in the Red Sea, drawing hundreds of air strikes on missile sites and other targets by US and allied forces.[40] The crisis is linked to the Israel–Hamas war, the Iran–Israel proxy conflict, the Iran–United States proxy conflict, and the Yemeni crisis.[41]

The Houthi movement's militants, who oppose Yemen's internationally recognized government, have since 2014 controlled a considerable swath of the country's territory along the Red Sea. Shortly after the beginning of the Israel–Hamas war, the Hamas-allied group began to launch missiles and drones at Israel. Houthi militants have also fired on various countries' merchant vessels in the Red Sea, and particularly in the Bab-el-Mandeb—the southern maritime gateway to the Suez Canal of Egypt and therefore a chokepoint of the global economy. The group has declared that they will not stop until Israel ceases its war on Hamas.[39][42]

The Houthis says they consider any Israel-linked ship as a target,[43][44][45] including US and UK warships, but they have also indiscriminately attacked the ships of many nations.[40][46] From October 2023 to March 2024, the Houthis attacked more than 60 vessels in the Red Sea.[46] To avoid attack, hundreds of commercial vessels have been rerouted to sail around South Africa.[47]

The Houthis' Red Sea attacks have drawn a military response from a number of countries. In January 2024, the

Brigadier General Yahya Saree said, "We will target any ships heading to Israeli ports in the Mediterranean Sea in any area we are able to reach".[49]

Background

Houthis within Yemen

The Houthi movement is an Iran-backed Zaydi Shia Islamist militant organization that exercises de facto control over parts of Yemen, though it is not the country's internationally recognized government; the Houthi takeover in Yemen in 2014 resulted in the group's acquisition of the capital city of Sanaa, but the anti-Houthi Presidential Leadership Council remains recognized by the international community as Yemen's legitimate government.[50] After this conflict grew into an ongoing civil war, millions of residents were internally displaced, and a Saudi-led coalition responded by imposing a blockade of Yemen. These combined to shrink the economy by half and contributed to famine in Yemen since 2016, one of the worst in the world.[51][52][53]

The US military destroyed drones in Yemen's Houthi-held region and over the Red Sea due to perceived threats, exacerbating tensions in the conflict-ridden area. This comes amidst ongoing attacks by the Houthis and challenges to diplomatic efforts to end the Yemeni war.[54]

Houthis and the Israel–Hamas war

Areas controlled by Houthi movement in 2024, colored green

Following the Hamas-led attack on Israel on 7 October 2023, which triggered the Israel–Hamas war, numerous Iran-backed militant groups across the Middle East (including the Houthis) expressed support for the Palestinians and threatened to attack Israel. Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi warned the United States against intervening in support of Israel, threatening that such an intervention would be met with retaliation by drone and missile strikes.[55] In order to end their attacks in the Red Sea, the Houthis demanded a ceasefire in the Israel–Hamas war and an end to the accompanying Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.[56][57][58]

Weapons used by Houthi militants

According to

artillery rockets, loitering munitions and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).[61]
They have several missiles and UAVs capable of reaching Israel from Yemen:

Timeline of events

Bab-el-Mandeb transits by cargo vessels
over 10,000 deadweight tonnage (approx.)
[64]

         Before attacks

         After first Houthi ship seizure/attack (19 November 2023)

         After naval protection operation started (18 December 2023)

         After US/UK attack on Yemen mainland (12 January 2024)

100
200
300
400
500
600
45 Week in 2023
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
1 Week in 2024
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

October 2023

USS Carney engages with Houthi missiles, 19 October 2023.

On 19 October 2023, US officials said the

land-attack cruise missiles and several drones heading toward Israel launched by the Houthis in Yemen. This was the first action by the US military to defend Israel since the outbreak of the war.[55] It was later reported that the ship shot down four cruise missiles and 15 drones.[65] Another missile was reportedly intercepted by Saudi Arabia.[66] More were intercepted by Israel's Arrow anti-ballistic missiles; others fell short of their targets or were intercepted by the Israeli Air Force and the French Navy
.

On 27 October 2023 two

were fired in a northerly direction from the southern Red Sea. According to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officials, their target was Israel, but they did not cross the border from Egypt. Of the two drones, one fell short and hit a building adjacent to a hospital in Taba, Egypt, injuring six; the other was shot down near an electricity plant close to the town of Nuweiba, Egypt.[67][68][69] A Houthi official later made a one-word post on Twitter after the drone crashed in Taba, mentioning the nearby Israeli city of Eilat.[70]

On 31 October an alert was triggered in Eilat,

Negev Desert, making it the first instance of space warfare in history.[74]

November 2023

On 1 November at 00:45 the IDF intercepted an air threat fired from Yemen and identified south of Eilat.

MQ-9 Reaper drone was shot down off the coast of Yemen by Houthi air defences on 8 November; the Pentagon previously said that MQ-9 drones were flying over Gaza in an intelligence gathering role to aid in the hostage recovery efforts.[76] On 9 November, the Houthis fired a missile toward the city of Eilat.[77] The missile was intercepted by an Arrow 3 missile, marking the first time it was used in an interception.[78]

On 14 November the Houthis fired numerous missiles, one of which was aimed toward the city of Eilat. The missile was intercepted by an Arrow missile according to Israeli officials.[79] The following day, US officials said that USS Thomas Hudner shot down a drone, fired from Yemen, that was headed toward it.[80] On 22 November, the Houthis fired a cruise missile aimed toward the city of Eilat. Israeli officials said the missile was successfully shot down by an F-35.[81] On 23 November 2023, US officials said that the destroyer USS Thomas Hudner had shot down several attack drones launched from Yemen.[82]

On 29 November 2023 US officials said the US Navy destroyer USS Carney shot down a Houthi KAS-04 drone as the destroyer approached the

Sana'a, the capital of Yemen. Houthi officials denied the report, stating that a gas station was hit instead. A member of the Houthis' political bureau, Hezam al-Asad, said that the explosion was caused by the remnants of a bomb left over from the Yemeni civil war.[84][85]

December 2023

On 6 December 2023, the Houthi movement launched several ballistic missiles at Israeli military posts in Eilat. On the same day, USS Mason shot down a drone launched from Yemen. There were no clear indications of its target.[86]

On 10 December 2023, the

Hodeida, a Houthi-held port.[87] On 11 December 2023, the Norwegian oil tanker Strinda, fell victim to an overnight air attack, causing a fire on board.[88] The Languedoc intervened once again, intercepted a Houthi drone targeting the damaged tanker and subsequently placed itself in the protection of the vessel, preventing further attacks. The fire was brought under control and no injuries were reported. The vessel was then escorted to the Gulf of Aden out of the threat zone by an American destroyer, USS Mason.[89][90] The US Navy reportedly shot down 14 drones on 16 December 2023,[91] while Egyptian Air Defense Forces intercepted an object flying near Dahab.[92]

On 14 December 2023,

Somali pirates, although the Government of India remains silent about its involvement in Operation Prosperity Guardian.[14]

By 21 December 2023, the Port of Eilat, which gives Israel via the Red Sea its only easy shipping access to Asia without the need to transit the Suez Canal, had seen an 85% drop in activity due to the Houthi action.[94]

On 26 December 2023, Houthis said they carried out drone attacks on Eilat and other parts of Israel.

Foreign Ministry of Iran denied the US accusations and called them "baseless". The vessel's crew included 21 Indians and 1 Vietnamese citizen.[97][98][99]

January 2024

Map of the airstrikes

On 4 January, just hours after the warning, Houthis launched an

unmanned surface vessel (USV) towards US Navy and commercial vessels, but it detonated well over 1 nautical mile (1.9 km; 1.2 mi) from the ships.[100]

On 7 January, the Houthi movement stated that retaliatory attacks against the

US Navy would continue unless the US hands over the Navy servicemembers who killed the 10 Houthi attack boat personnel for them to stand trial in Yemen.[101] On 7 January, the Pakistan Navy deployed two Tughril-class frigates, PNS Tughril and Taimur in the Arabian Sea following "recent incidents of maritime security."[citation needed
]

On 10 January, a large-scale attack was initiated by the Houthis against USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, USS Gravely, USS Laboon, USS Mason and HMS Diamond, in which at least 21 UAVs and missiles were launched.[102]

On 11 January,

US Navy SEALs raided a ship off the coast of Somalia which was bound to Houthi militants. Iranian-made missile components and other weapons, including air defense parts, were seized from the ship. The ship was then sunk and its crew of 14 people were detained. During the raid, a SEAL was pushed into the water by high waves and one of his teammates jumped in after him, causing both of them to go missing.[103][104] Both SEALs were declared dead by the US military after a 10-day search failed to locate them.[24]

On 12 January, the US and UK

Hodeida, and spy planes were reportedly spotted near the area. Reports also suggested that Israel was involved in the attacks.[111][112] The US issued a denial the same day.[113]

On 14 January, Houthis fired an anti-ship cruise missile from Hodeida in the direction of USS Laboon. The missile was shot down by a fighter jet before it could cause damage.

US Forces and allies conduct joint strikes in Yemen, 22 January 2024

On 16 January, the US struck four Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles as they were being prepared to target ships in the Red Sea.[115] The following day, a fourth round of US strikes hit 14 missiles across Houthi-controlled areas.[116][117] On 22 January, in the eighth round of strikes against Houthis, the US and UK conducted airstrikes against eight Houthi targets in the vicinity of Sanaa airfield.[118][119]

On 21 January 2024, the French frigate Alsace joined defence operations in the Red Sea after transitting through the Suez Canal, reinforcing French assets deployed in the area in the face of Houthi attacks against international shipping.[120][121][122]

On 24 January, Houthi claimed to have attacked US destroyers and other warships in the Red Sea. This attack supposed to be in response to

better source needed] This attack was denied by the United States government.[124]

On the night of 26 to 27 January, the French frigate Alsace came to the aid of an oil tanker on fire in the Gulf of Aden, alongside Indian and American destroyers INS Visakhapatnam and USS Carney. The fire suffered by the Marlin Luanda tanker was caused by a missile fired from Yemen. It was brought under control after 20 hours, with no casualties sustained.[125][122]

On 29 January, Danish frigate HDMS Iver Huitfeldt departed from the Korsør naval base for the Red Sea to assist the US-led coalition in safeguarding commercial traffic against Houthi attacks.[126] On 31 January, top European Union diplomat Josep Borrell announced that the bloc plans to start a naval mission to protect merchant shipping in the Red Sea within the following three weeks, and officials stated that seven EU member states were prepared to provide military equipment.[127] An adviser to Borrell stated that the mission's launch date should be 19 February. Borrell added that the mission would be called 'Aspides', which translates to 'protector'.[128]

February 2024

On 2 February, the Houthis claimed that they had fired a ballistic missile towards Eilat. The IDF also said that the Arrow defense system intercepted a missile over the Red Sea.[129] On 3 February, a day after conducting airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, the US and UK conducted strikes against 36 Houthi sites, which included underground facilities, UAV storage and operation sites, missile systems, radars, and helicopters in 13 different locations across Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen in an attempt to degrade their capabilities. Houthi official Mohammed Al-Bukhaiti stated that they would "meet escalation with escalation" in response to the bombings.[130]

On 8 February, the German frigate Hessen departed from Wilhelmshaven for the Red Sea with about 240 people on board in order to assist the upcoming EU mission.[131]

On 10 February, Houthi official media listed the names of 17 fighters that were killed during joint US–UK strikes. The announcement came following public funerals held in Sanaa.[132]

On 15 February, the US Army announced that the Coast Guard seized a vessel originating from Iran and was bound for Houthi-controlled Yemen on 28 January. The US Army said the vessel was carrying advanced weapons and other "lethal aid". It had more than 200 packages containing ballistic missile and naval drone components, explosives, communications gear, and anti-tank missile launcher parts.[133]

On 19 February, the European Union announced the start of the naval mission Operation Aspides, which plans to send warships and provide early airborne warning systems to the Red Sea and surrounding waters. The launch was confirmed by Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Antonio Tajani. France, Germany, Italy and Belgium all announced their intention to contribute to the operation. Operation Aspides will be headquartered in Larissa, Greece. The operation is not allowed to attack pre-emptively, and will only fire on Houthis if they attack first.[134] The operation will only operate at sea, and will not conduct or participate in military strikes.[135] The same day, Houthis claimed they shot down an MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Red Sea. US officials confirmed the incident, adding that the drone belonged to the US Air Force and crashed off the coast of Hodeidah.[136]

On 20 February, France announced that one of its warships shot down two Houthi UAVs over the Red Sea, while CENTCOM announced the downing of ten bomb-carrying drones and a cruise missile targeting the USS Laboon.[137] Houthis claimed that they attacked Eilat and a number of American warships in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea with drones.[138]

On the morning of 22 February, two UAVs targeting commercial vessels in the Red Sea were stated to have been intercepted yet again by one of the French FREMM frigates in the area.[139][140] Later that day, the Houthis' Humanitarian Operations Coordination Center sent statements to shipping insurers and firms announcing a formal ban on vessels owned or partially owned by Israeli, British, or American entities or individuals in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Arabian Sea. The ban also included vessels sailing under the flags of the mentioned nations.[141][142] The statement came as the Houthis launched drones and ballistic missiles targeting Eilat and an American destroyer in the Red Sea, though none of them struck their target according to authorities. However, the Houthis successfully fired two missiles at a Palau-flagged cargo ship named Islander which sparked a fire and wounded one sailor on board the vessel, though the ship continued its transportation route.[143] Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi also said in a statement that operations in the Red Sea and surrounding waters were continuing, escalating and effective, and announced the introduction of "submarine weapons" without giving further details.[144]

On 24 February, the US and UK conducted their fourth round of joint airstrikes, hitting 18 Houthi targets across eight locations. The British Ministry of Defense said that four Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets, supported by two Voyager tankers, participated in the strikes.[145] The Houthis' official news agency said the attacks killed a civilian and injured eight others, making them the first civilian casualties during US and British airstrikes.[146]

On 26 February, damages were reported to Red Sea undersea communications cables. Initial reports by industry sources, African press, and Israeli press, tied this to Houthi attacks that was predicted by international press, while Seacom was unable to confirm the cause, they later confirmed the location of the damage to be in Yemeni maritime jurisdictions.[147] Press releases by Seacom and Flag Telecom were describing the difficulty of repair due to the crisis in shipping.[148][149] Houthi leaders denied involvement.[150] The same day, Greece approved a decision to send the Greek frigate Hydra to the Red Sea to assist Operation Aspides.[151] Also on 26 February, the German frigate Hessen launched two SM-2 missiles at an American Reaper drone in a friendly fire incident. The missiles missed their target, falling into the sea.[152]

On 27 February, Houthi leader Mohammed al-Houthi said they will only allow a salvage operation to take place if humanitarian aid is sent to Gaza Strip.[153] On the same day, German frigate Hessen intercepted two Houthi drones as they targeted the naval vessel, making it the German Navy's first naval engagement of Operation Aspides.[154] The Hessen downed one drone with her 76mm cannon and a second with her CIWS system.[155] The Rubymar, which was struck by the Houthis earlier in February started sinking while drifting northwards[156] and sank by 2 March 2024.

March 2024

On 2 March, during Operation Aspides, the Italian destroyer Caio Duilio shot down a Houthi missile over the Red Sea. The missile was within 4 miles (6.4 km) of the destroyer before it was shot down.[157]

On 4 March, Houthi Telecommunications Minister Misfer Al-Numair said that vessels entering Yemeni waters would need a permit from the Houthi-controlled Maritime Affairs Authority.[158]

On 4 March 2024,

explosive ordnance disposal team boarded the Sky II to evaluate residual risk. The 23-person crew, 13 of whom were citizens of India, were safe, and the ship continued sailing towards its next destination.[159][160][161]

On 8 March,

NH90 maritime attack helicopter on board and is equipped to intercept incoming missiles and drones. The Netherlands also announced its intent to send a joint logistics support vessel to the Red Sea in the following month.[163]

On 9 March, the French FREMM Alsace patrolling the Gulf of Aden under the newly-launched EU Aspides mission, as well as French

Mirage 2000-5 stationed in Djibouti, intercepted 4 Houthi UAVs threatening commercial transit that day.[164]

On 11 March, the US and UK conducted 17 airstrikes against port cities and towns under Houthi control in Western Yemen. Among the targets struck were Hodeidah and the port of Ras Issa. A spokesperson for the internationally recognized Yemeni government said the strikes killed 11 people and injured 14 others.[165]

On 12 March, the Italian Ministry of Defense reported that the Duilio had shot down two Houthi drones in self-defense.[166]

On 14 March, the Russian state news agency

hypersonic missile, citing an unnamed official and no evidence.[167]

On 18 March, Yemeni Houthis launched a cruise missile that successfully struck Israel, reportedly hitting an open area north of Eilat. Israel stated there was no damage or injuries caused.[168]

On 20 March, the embarked Panther helicopter of the French FREMM Alsace shot down a Houthi UAV flying towards commercial vessels over the southern Red Sea. The door gunner of the helicopter, which was patrolling in the area, engaged and destroyed the UAV with a 7.62 mm machine gun.[169][170] The same day, a US Navy sailor assigned to the USS Mason went missing while conducting supporting operations in the Red Sea. On 23 March, the US Department of Defense declared him as dead, stating that his death occurred in a non-combat incident.[25]

On the morning of 21 March, the embarked helicopter of the German frigate Hessen destroyed a seaborne drone (USV) in the Red Sea. Later that day, the French FREMM Alsace, providing close protection to merchant shipping in the area, engaged and destroyed 3 Houthi ballistic missiles threatening the transit with its Aster 30 missiles.[171][172][173] The same day, Bloomberg had reported that the Houthis reached a deal with Russia and China, agreeing to provide safe passage for vessels under their jurisdiction in exchange for political support.[174] The IDF also announced on the same day that it intercepted a "suspicious aerial target" approaching Israeli territory over the Red Sea.[175]

On 27 March, the US Navy said it shot down four Houthi UAVs targeting warships in the Red Sea.

UN Security Council.[179]

April 2024

On 3 April, Danish chief of defense Flemming Lentfer was fired after failing to report flaws regarding air defenses and weapons systems aboard the Ivar Huitfeldt frigate which emerged after a Houthi attack in March, when the frigate's air defenses failed while engaging with Houthis. A problem also occurred with the frigate's ammunition system, which caused half of the rounds it fired to detonate before hitting their target.[180]

In April, Tim Lenderking, the United States special envoy for Yemen, stated that he hoped to achieve a diplomatic solution with the Yemeni Houthis in regard to their attacks, and that the US would consider removing the Houthis from its designated terrorist list if they ceased their attacks.[181]

On 9 April, the IDF used a seaborne missile from the INS Magen to shoot down a UAV for the first time. The UAV, which came from the Red Sea, breached Israeli airspace and crossed into the area of the Gulf of Aqaba, setting off sirens in Eilat.[182][183]

On 10 April, the US military said it destroyed eleven drones belonging to the Houthis which it said presented a threat to US, coalition, and merchant vessels. Eight of the drones were destroyed in Houthi-controlled territory, while three were shot down; two over the Gulf of Aden and another over the Red Sea.[184]

On 13 April, the Houthis in coordination with Iran launched several drones at Israel amidst the

C-Dome system intercepted an aerial target in the Eilat area, which came from the direction of the Red Sea.[186]

On 18 April, the Iranian spy ship MV Behshad, which is suspected of assisting the Houthis, left its position at sea and started to sail towards the port of Bandar Abbas.[187]

On 25 April, a Greek frigate intercepted two Houthi drones in the Red Sea.[188]

On 26 April, the Houthis said they shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone off the coast of Yemen. The US confirmed the crash of an MQ-9 Reaper in the area and launched an investigation into it.[189]

May 2024

In early May, Houthi-run Saba News Agency reported that at least 18 people were arrested on suspicions of spying for the US and Israel. According to Saba, the supposed spy network was formed in November. Saba did not provide evidence to support the claim, but said that the men had confessed to spying.[190]

On 7 May, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower returned to Red Sea after a short port call in late April at

Souda Bay, Crete to resupply.[191]

On 10 May, a coalition warplane intercepted a Houthi drone over the Gulf of Aden. The following day, three other drones were intercepted over the Red Sea. No casualties or damage to shipping were reported in borh incidents.[192]

On 15 May, the Houthis claimed to have shot down a MQ-9 Reaper drone near Marib, later releasing footage of its purported downing. The US military however declined to comment.[193] On 21 May, the Houthis claimed to have shot down another MQ-9 Reaper drone, stating it crashed in Al Bayda Governorate.[194]

On 29 May, the Houthis claimed that they shot down an MQ-9 Reaper drone with a surface-to-air missile over Marib province. Footage obtained by the Associated Press displayed a damaged drone, however it remained mostly in tact and lacked signs of blast damage. It also lacked markings, and the downing was not acknowledged by local authorities. Associated Press reported that a USAF official denied the loss of aircraft on the theater, meanwhile the CIA that operates those drone denied to comment.[195]

On 30 May, the US and UK

The Associated Press that the ship was in fine condition.[197] The US Central Command meanwhile reported that the Houthis launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles and a drone over the Gulf of Aden, with the drone being intercepted and the missiles not causing any damage. In addition, it stated that they also launched four drones over the Red Sea, with three being intercepted and one crashing into the water.[198]

June 2024

The Houthis targeted the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, USS Gravely, and three commercial vessels on 1 June. The US Central Command confirmed the attacks, while adding that no casualties or damage was reported, with one drone being intercepted in the southern Red Sea and two others crashing into the water. It also added that it had shot down two anti-ship ballistic missiles targeting USS Gravely.[199][200]

On 3 June, the IDF's Arrow defense system intercepted a surface-to-air missile aimed at Eilat from the direction of the Red Sea.[201] The Houthis later claimed that they were targeting an IDF site with a ballistic missile named Palestine.[202] On 6 June, the group and the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed to have launched two coordinated attacks on Haifa. Israel however denied these claims. The Houthis later stated that they would intensify their joint operations with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.[203]

On 6 June, at least eleven Yemeni UN workers were arrested by the Houthis. Four days later, the group claimed that they had arrested an undisclosed number of members of an "American-Israeli spy network" that disguised itself as international and UN organizations, and aired purported confessions from ten Yemenis, claiming that several of them were recruited by the U.S. Embassy in Yemen. None of the people in the taped confessions however were among the UN workers arrested four days earlier.[204]

The Houthi-run Al-Masirah television channel on 7 June reported that the US and the UK had carried out four airstrikes on the Hodeida International Airport and the Port of Salif, in addition to two airstrikes on the al-Thawra region to the north of Sana'a. No casualties were reported, while neither the US and UK confirmed the attacks.[205] Separately, the US Armed Forces stated that they had destroyed a drone in the Bab-el-Mandeb strait launched from the Houthi-ruled area and a Houthi patrol boat in the Red Sea.[206]

The Houthis on 9 June claimed to have targeted the British destroyer HMS Diamond in the Red Sea with ballistic missiles. The British Ministry of Defence however denied the claim as untrue.[207]

CNN on 11 June published a report citing three American officials stating that American intelligence agencies believed the Houthis were discussing amongst themselves about arming the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab, and officials were investigating whether any weapon deliveries had been made or if Iran was involved.[208] The U.S. Central Command meanwhile stated that the U.S. military had destroyed two missile launchers used by the Houthis.[209]

On 12 June, the Houthis claimed joint attacks with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq on sites in

unmanned surface vessel and a drone in the Red Sea over the past day.[211] The Houthis meanwhile stated that the U.S. and UK had carried out two airstrikes on the government complex in the Al Jabin District of the Raymah Governorate, killing two people and wounding nine. The group also claimed that the two countries had carried out 22 airstrikes on Sanaa, Al Hudaydah and Raymah governorates over the past week.[212]

On 15 June, the US Central Command stated that its military had destroyed seven Houthi radar systems in Yemen that enabled the group to locate and target merchant vessels. It also claimed that a Houthi UAV and two USVs in the Red Sea were destroyed simultaneously.[213][214] The Houthis claimed to have targeted an American destroyer on the next day.[215]

On 17 June, Al-Masirah reported that the US and the UK had carried out at least six airstrikes on the Hodeida International Airport and four on the island of Kamaran.[216] Associated Press journalists who were given an on-board tour of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower meanwhile found no signs of damages.[217] Al-Masirah on 19 June claimed that the US and the UK carried out three airstrikes on sites located in Al-Taif area of Ad Durayhimi District in Al Hudaydah Governorate,[218] and four airstrikes on the government complex in Al Jabin District of Raymah Governorate.[219]

The Houthis on 22 June again claimed to have targeted the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea, however Reuters cited two U.S. officials who denied the claim.[220] The ship meanwhile ended its tour and was ordered to return home, being replaced by the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The US Central Command also stated that it had destroyed three Houthi uncrewed surface vessels in the Red Sea over the past day,[221] while the Houthis had also fired three anti-ship ballistic missiles over the Gulf of Aden, however none of the military or commercial vessels reported any casualties or significant damage.[222]

On 23 June, the Houthis claimed to have carried out a joint attack with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq on four ships in the Haifa port. There was however no confirmation from the IDF or independent sources.[223] The IDF on 26 June stated that a drone crashed into the sea near Eilat, with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claiming responsibility.[224] The U.S. Central Command on 28 June stated that its forces had destroyed seven drones and a UAV ground control station in Houthi-controlled territory over the past day.[225]

July 2024

The Houthis on 2 July stated that they had carried out a joint operation with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, claiming to have attacked a "vital target" in Haifa with a number of missiles.[226] The Operation Aspides mission's communication team stated that two UAVs were destroyed by the Greek frigate Psara in the Gulf of Aden on 7 July.[227]

The IDF stated that it had shot down a suspected UAV heading towards Israel from the Red Sea on 8 July. The Houthis later claimed to have carried out a joint attack along with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq on Eilat using a number of drones.[228]

Houthi attacks on commercial vessels

Iran-backed Houthi forces began attacking shipping vessels affiliated with Israel passing through the Red Sea on 19 November 2023. By February, 40 vessels had been attacked. Global shipping companies, which had typically sailed through the Red Sea, as well as the Suez Canal, instead moved to position their vessels around the Cape of Good Hope, off the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.[229][230][231][232]

Between November and December 2023, a 1.3 percent decrease in global trade resulted from Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea.[233] By March 2024, over 2,000 ships had diverted routes away from the Red Sea, making costlier voyages, since the first Houthi attack the previous November.[234]

Initial Houthi pledges to target any ship with links to Israel were followed by attacks on ships connected to over a dozen nations, as well, stated, in January 2024, as avenging "American-British aggression against our country". US Central Command responded that the Houthis attacks "have nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza" and that Houthis had "fired indiscriminately into the Red Sea", targeting ships, and impacting more than 40 nations.[235][236] On 3 May 2024, the Houthi-aligned Yemeni Armed Forces SPC military spokesperson Yahya Saree announced, in a televised speech, that "We will target any ships heading to Israeli ports in the Mediterranean Sea in any area we are able to reach".[49]

First and second phases (November – December 2023)

Galaxy Leader at Bremerhaven, 2006. She was hijacked by the Houthis in November 2023.

On 19 November 2023, Houthi forces used a

Hodeidah.[240]
Sarea also urged countries to remove their citizens from crews of such ships. Earlier, Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi had threatened further attacks against Israeli interests, including potential targets in the Red Sea and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. His speech emphasized the group's capability to monitor and target Israeli ships in these regions.[241]

On 24 November, Iran allegedly attacked CMA CGM Symi, a Malta-flagged container ship in the Indian Ocean.[242] A drone was shot down over the Red Sea by an IDF fighter jet.[243]

On 26 November, the Liberian-flagged

Somali pirates, were detained by the US Navy.[246][247]

On 3 December, the United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Carney reportedly shot down three attack drones launched from Yemen that were approaching the ship. After shooting down the drones, the ship responded to a distress call by three commercial ships in the area (the Unity Explorer, Number 9 and Sophie II) which were under attack by ballistic missiles launched from Yemen.[248]

The Houthis claimed responsibility for two of the attacks. Houthi military spokesman Brigadier General

Bab el-Mandeb strait, without mentioning a warship.[248] A Pentagon source said that the attacks on Carney caused no injuries or damage.[249]

Third phase (December 2023 – May 2024)

On 9 December 2023, the Houthis vowed to target any vessel en route to Israeli ports, entering the third phase of the crisis. Following the announcement, the frequency of attacks around the Bab-el-Mandeb increased.[250]

On 12 December, the Houthis launched an

US Department of Defense reported that the Languedoc shot down a drone targeted at the Strinda, and USS Mason also rendered aid. The Houthi attack on the Strinda was an expansion of its series of attacks against maritime shipping in the strait; the Houthis began to attack commercial vessels without any discernible tie to Israel.[252]

On 13 December, Houthi rebels attempted to board the Ardmore Encounter, a Marshall Islands-flagged commercial tanker coming from

Mangaluru, India and en route to either Rotterdam, Netherlands or Gävle, Sweden, but failed, prompting a distress call from the ship. They then targeted the tanker with missiles, which missed. USS Mason responded to the tanker's distress call and shot down a UAV launched from a Houthi-controlled area. The Ardmore Encounter was able to continue its voyage without further incident.[253]

On 14 December, a Houthi-launched missile was fired at the Maersk Gibraltar, though it missed its target.[254] On 15 December, Houthi spokesperson Yahya Sarea claimed responsibility for attacks on two Liberian-flagged vessels identified as MSC Alanya and MSC Palatium III. The Houthis fired naval missiles at the ships as they alleged they were traveling to Israel.[255]

On 15 December, it was reported that the Liberian-flagged Al-Jasrah, which is owned by

Hapag Lloyd, caught fire after being hit by a Houthi-launched projectile while sailing through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.[256] On 16 December, Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond shot down a drone over the Red Sea while it was targeting a commercial ship.[12]

On 18 December, Houthis claimed to have launched attacks targeting two cargo vessels in the Red Sea near

Mocha port, the MSC Clara and the Norwegian-owned Swan Atlantic. The Swan Atlantic's owner, Inventor Chemical Tankers, said its water tank was damaged in the attack and denied it has any Israeli ties.[257]

On 23 December, Houthis fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles into the southern Red Sea, but no ships were hit. USS Laboon also shot down four UAVs that were heading toward it.[258]

On 26 December, Houthis fired several naval missiles at the MSC United VIII in the Red Sea after it rejected three warning calls.[95] She reported several explosions near her.[259][260] She alerted a nearby coalition task force warship and engaged in evasive maneuvers as per her instructions during the attacks.[261][262]

The container ship Maersk Hangzhou, owned by A.P. Moller Singapore Pte. Ltd. and in service with Maersk Line, was attacked over two days in late December. On 30 December, she was hit by a land-based missile, suffering only limited damage and no casualties. The following day, four small Yemeni gunboats attempted to attack and board the ship. The Maersk Hangzhou's own security team repelled them. Responding to her distress call, helicopters were deployed from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS Gravely, which were then engaged by the Houthis. They returned fire and sank three of the boats, killing their crews (ten militants in all—the fourth boat withdrew), thus inflicting the first known casualties of the Red Sea crisis.[263]

On 11 January 2024, Houthis fired an anti-ship ballistic missile into international shipping lanes in the Gulf of Aden, which landed in the water near a commercial vessel, causing no damage or injuries.[264]

On 12 January, Houthis mistakenly targeted MT Khalissa as it carried Russian crude oil based on outdated information linking it to the United Kingdom.[265] A missile was fired near the vessel as it sailed off the coast of Aden, causing no injuries or damage. Three small boats also tailed the vessel for over an hour.[266][267]

On 15 January, Houthis struck MV Gibraltar Eagle with an anti-ship missile, causing a small fire on board. The

attack [simple] did not cause injuries or significant damage. Another missile fired earlier failed in flight and crashed in Yemen.[268]

On 16 January, an anti-ship ballistic missile fired by the Houthis struck MV Zografia, causing material damage but no injuries. The Greek-owned and Malta-flagged vessel, which came from Vietnam and was en route to Israel, was able to continue transiting the Red Sea.[269][270]

On 17 January, Houthis struck the US-owned bulk carrier MV Genco Picardy with a drone while it traversed the Gulf of Aden, causing minimal damage and no injuries to the crew.[271][272] The Indian Navy announced the following day that INS Visakhapatnam was diverted to rescue the ship's crew of 22 people. No casualties were reported and the ship later continued onwards for its scheduled journey.[273][274]

On 18 January, Houthis launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles at MV Chem Ranger, which was traveling from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Kuwait. The missiles landed in the water near the ship while it was traversing through the Gulf of Aden, and there was no reported damage or injuries. However, a Houthi post on social media claimed that they launched several naval missiles at the vessel, resulting in direct hits.[275]

On 22 January, Houthis claimed they attacked the US military cargo ship MV Ocean Jazz, but did not state the location of the attack or if damage was caused. However, the claim was rejected by the

US Naval Forces Central Command.[276]

On 24 January, a Houthi missile exploded on the sea about 100 metres off the starboard side of the US-flagged, -owned, and -operated container ship Maersk Detroit. This ship and the Maersk Chesapeake, both in the

Maersk Line Limited, a subsidiary that sails primarily US government-owned goods, suspended all sailings in the Red Sea.[277][278][279]

Marlin Luanda
in January 2023

On 26 January, a Houthi ballistic missile fired toward USS Carney was shot down.[280] The same day, the Marlin Luanda, an oil tanker operated by British company Oceonix Services on behalf of Trafigura, carrying Russian-produced naphtha, was hit by a missile as it traversed the Gulf of Aden 60 nautical miles (110 km; 69 mi) southeast of Aden, according to UK Maritime Trade Operations. A Houthi spokesperson said the ship was targeted in response to "American-British aggression against our country". The missile set fire to a starboard cargo tank, which was extinguished by the crew without injury.[235][281]

On 28 January, HMS Diamond intercepted a Houthi drone targeting it.

Al-Mukha. The merchant vessel's security crew fired warning shots to deter the small boats, and the vessel was able to safely proceed to its next port of call.[284]

On 30 January, a Houthi missile targeting USS Gravely came within a mile of the naval vessel before being intercepted, the closest any Houthi attack had yet come to a US warship.[285] The following day, the Houthis claimed they targeted an American merchant ship named Koi with several naval missiles. The security firm Ambrey said the same day that a merchant vessel reported an explosion on its starboard side 69 nautical miles (128 km; 79 mi) southwest of Aden, but it was not stated if it was the Koi.[286] USS Carney also shot down three Iranian drones and one Houthi missile over the Gulf of Aden.[287]

On 6 February, Houthis claimed they hit a British and an American ship in the Red Sea, which they identified as the Morning Tide and Star Nasia, respectively. Neither ship received major damage. Ambrey reported that a Barbados-flagged British ship received minor damage to its port 57 nautical miles (106 km; 66 mi) from the coast of Hodeidah, and the UKMTO said that it also received reports that the port side of a ship was struck by a projectile west of Hodeidah and a small craft was seen nearby.[288] The second ship, which the UKMTO identified as a Marshall Islands-flagged, Greek-owned vessel originating from the US and en route to India, was attacked off the coast of Aden. It reported an explosion 50 metres off its starboard side.[289]

On 12 February, Houthis fired two missiles at the Star Iris as it traveled south of the Bab el-Mandeb strait, claiming it was an American vessel without providing evidence. The attack caused minor damage to the vessel, but no injuries were reported. The Star Iris came from

Bandar Khomeini, Iran. It was able to proceed to its next port of call.[290]

On 16 February, the UKMTO reported that a missile lightly damaged a Panama-flagged ship off the coast of

US Department of State said the tanker was bound for India and was struck on its port side by a missile fired from Yemen.[292]

MV Rubymar sinks in the Red Sea on 2 March 2024

On 18 February, the Belize-flagged cargo ship MV Rubymar was attacked in the Bab el-Mandeb strait as she sailed from Khor Fakkan, UAE, to Varna, Bulgaria. Saree said the attack caused catastrophic damage to the vessel, forced her to stop, and put her at risk of sinking. The vessel's crew evacuated after the attack. Ambrey said the attack made the ship briefly slow down and deviate from her course, before contacting the Djiboutian Navy and returning to her previous course and speed. The vessel remained afloat as of 8 am London time. CENTCOM said the attack on the Rubymar caused her to slowly take in water and leave behind a 29-kilometre (18 mi) oil slick, causing an environmental disaster. It added that she was carrying 41,000 tonnes of fertilizer, which could spill into the sea if she were to sink.[293] On 2 March, the Yemeni government reported that the Rubymar had sunk.[35]

On 19 February, a Greece-flagged bulk carrier requested military assistance after a missile attack east of Aden.[294] Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack, identifying the vessel as the Sea Champion. They added that another vessel called Navis Fortuna was also struck.[295]

On 22 February, Houthis fired two missiles at the cargo ship MV Islander as she traversed the Red Sea, causing a fire. CENTCOM announced that damage was done to the vessel and one person suffered minor injuries as a result of the attacks.[296]

On 6 March, the Houthis struck the Barbados-flagged bulk carrier True Confidence with an anti-ship missile, igniting a fire and leading the crew to abandon the vessel. Three crew members were killed and four others sustained serious burns from the fire.[297] INS Kolkata handled the situation. The event happened 55 nautical miles to the southwest of Aden. INS Kolkata deployed its boats and onboard helicopter to reach the location and deployed life rafts to save 21 crew members, one of whom was Indian. The ship's medical professionals provided vital medical attention to the injured crew members.[298][299]

On 8 March, the Houthis launched a large attack on US warships and commercial shipping, firing two anti-ship missiles at the Singapore-flagged bulk carrier MV Propel Fortune and 37 drones at American naval vessels.[300] A French warship and fighter jets shot down four drones approaching vessels belonging to Operation Aspides; the Danish frigate Iver Huitfeldt shot down another four; and the US Navy intercepted another 15.[301][302]

On 14 March, reports that missiles had struck the Panama-flagged Pacific 01 in the Gulf of Aden were debunked.[303][304] The following day, Houthis threatened to expand attacks to include Israel-linked vessels passing through the Indian Ocean towards the Cape of Good Hope.[305] On the same day, Yahya Saree claimed that Houthi forces launched drones and anti-ship missiles at American and Israeli vessels in the Indian Ocean, while also targeting US naval vessels with drones.[306]

On 24 March, Houthis targeted the Chinese-owned and Panama-flagged oil tanker MV Huang Pu with six anti-ship ballistic missiles as she was en route to New Mangalore Port, India.[307] One of the missiles landed in Yemen, while four others struck in the vicinity of the vessel and the fifth directly struck her, causing a fire which was extinguished thirty minutes later. She was carrying Russian crude oil at the time of the attack,[308] and was previously owned by a British shipping firm.[309][310]

On 7 April, the Houthis claimed responsibility for attacks on three commercial vessels and two US frigates in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. They identified the commercial vessels as the British-owned, Marshall Islands-flagged Hope Island and the Israeli-owned, Panama-flagged MSC Grace F and MSC Gina.[311][312][313]

On 9 April, the Maersk Yorktown, a US-flagged and owned container ship which was being escorted by the destroyers USS Mason and USS Laboon at the time, was targeted by an anti-ship missile while traversing the Gulf of Aden. The missile was intercepted before it could cause damage.[314] The following day, the Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack on the Yorktown and announced that they targeted the vessels MSC Gina and MSC Darwin, which they claimed were Israeli, and a US destroyer in the Gulf of Aden.[315]

On 24 April, Maersk Yorktown was again[314] targeted while underway the Gulf of Aden, along with the Madeira-flagged, Swiss-owned MSC Veracruz. Each was attacked in the Indian Ocean by Iranian-backed Houthi militants.[316]

On 26 April, two Houthi missiles hit the Panama-flagged oil tanker Andromeda Star, causing minor damage, approximately 15 nautical miles (28 km; 17 mi) southwest of Mokha.[317] The Houthis claimed she was a British oil ship. She had been carrying Russian oil from Primorsk, Russia to Vadinar, India.[318] INS Kochi rescued 30 crew members onboard the ship. An official reconnaissance was conducted by a helicopter after which the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) reached the vessel to "residual risk assessment". Later the ship continued towards her next destination.[319][320] Another missile landed in close proximity to the nearby Antigua and Barbuda-flagged MV Maisha, causing no damage.[321]

On 29 April, Houthis attacked the Malta-flagged merchant vessel MV Cyclades with anti-ship missiles and UAVs, causing minor damage.[322] The Houthis also claimed responsibility for a drone attack on the Portugal-flagged MSC Orion that day, directly striking her around 600 kilometres (370 mi) off the coast of Yemen while she was in the Arabian Sea, making it the furthest attack by the Houthis so far.[323][324] In response to the increased range, the EU's Operation Atalanta advised for an alternative shipping route to be established at least 150 nautical miles (280 km; 170 mi) east of the current route.[325]

Fourth phase (May 2024 – present)

In early May 2024, in what he described as the "fourth stage" of the attacks, Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi vowed to attack ships of any company related to Israel or carrying goods for Israel in response to Israel's Rafah offensive in southern Gaza.[326]

On 9 May, the Houthis claimed responsibility for attacks on three Panama-flagged container ships. In the first attack, two explosions were reported near a ship in the morning of 7 May. The Houthis said that the explosions were missile attacks targeting MSC Gina and MSC Diego. They also claimed an attack on the MSC Vittoria in the Indian Ocean, however this was unacknowledged by any authorities.[327][328]

On 18 May, the Greek-owned and Panama-flagged oil tanker MT Wind was struck by a missile off the coast of Mokha.[329] On 24 May, the Houthis claimed to have attacked the bulk carrier Yannis in the Red Sea, the gas tanker Essex in the Mediterranean Sea and the MSC Alexandra in the Arabian Sea. The U.S. Central Command stated that the Houthis fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles into the Red Sea, but no injuries or damages were reported, while Essex's manager Zodiac Maritime stated that it found no sign of it being struck.[330][331] The Greek-owned and Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Laax was struck by Houthis on 28 May. The group also claimed to have targeted the ships Morea and Sealady in the Red Sea, Alba and Maersk Hartford in the Arabian Sea and Minerva Antonia in the Mediterranean Sea. Maersk Line, the owner of Maersk Hartford, however denied any attack on the ship.[332][333]

On 1 June, the Houthis targeted the Maltese-flagged oil tanker Abliani in the Red Sea, the Maltese-flagged cargo ship Maina once in the Red Sea and then in the Arabian Sea, and the Marshall Islands-flagged LNG carrier Al Oraiq in the Indian Ocean on 1 June. The US Central Command said that no casualties or damage were reported.[199][200][334]

On 5 June, the Houthis claimed to have attacked the Liberian-flagged bulk carriers Roza and Vantage Dream in the Red Sea with missiles and drones, accusing the two ships of entering Israeli ports. They also claimed an attack on the US-flagged vessel Maersk Seletar in the Arabian Sea using drones, its media relations manager however denied that the vessel had been attacked. None of the Houthi claims matched with reports from maritime security agencies, with only the

UK Maritime Trade Operations reporting an explosion near the Maersk Seletar in the Red Sea a few days earlier.[335][336]

The Houthis on 7 June claimed to have targeted the Malta-flagged container ship Elbella and the Cyprus-flagged cargo ship AAL GENOA in the Red Sea with ballistic and naval missiles as well as drones, however there was no independent confirmation of the attacks. The U.S. Central Command reported that the group had launched four anti-ship ballistic missiles towards the Red Sea over the past day, with no casualties or damage being reported.[206]

The Antigua and Barbuda-flagged and German-owned cargo ship Norderney was struck by Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles twice on 8 and 9 June in the Gulf of Aden. The Liberian-flagged and Swiss-owned container ship MSC Tavvishi was struck by Houthi missiles in the Gulf of Aden on 8 June as well. Both ships were damaged, with a small fire breaking out on the Noderney, however none of the crew were hurt.[337][338] An unidentified ship was also struck by Houthi missiles near Djibouti on 9 June, however no casualty was reported.[339]

On 12 June, the Liberian-flagged and Greek-owned cargo ship Tutor was struck twice in the Red Sea near Al Hudaydah. The Houthis stated that attacks were carried out using ballistic missiles, drones and unmanned surface vehicle (USV), their first successful use of such a device throughout the crisis. The ship began to take in water, and the Houthis claimed that she was susceptible to sinking.[340] The ship was abandoned by the crew who were evacuated, save for one member who was confirmed missing and was suspected to be trapped in the engine room.[341] Its sinking was confirmed on 19 June, with the missing crew member believed to have been killed.[342]

On 13 June, two cruise missiles launched by the Houthis struck the Palauan-flagged and Ukrainian-owned bulk cargo carrier M/V Verbena in the Gulf of Aden, causing damage and subsequent fires on board. The attacks also severely injured an American sailor who was evacuated by tre U.S. forces.[343] The Houthis also claimed attacks on the Malta-flagged bulk carrier Seaguardian and Athina in the Red Sea. The attacks could not be independently confirmed though the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported an explosion near an unnamed vessel in the Red Sea, without causing any damage or casualties.[344]

On 16 June, the Houthis claimed to have targeted the ships Captain Paris and Happy Condor with missiles and drones respectively. An unidentified vessel traveling south of Mokha reported two explosions near it without suffering damage or casualties according to the UKMTO.[215]

The Palauan-flagged LNG carrier Asya Energy managed to sail through the Red Sea without any incident on 18 June, marking the first time a LNG carrier had sailed successfully through the Bab-el-Mandeb since January 2024.[345] Leading shipping associations meanwhile called for immediate action to safeguard ships passing through the Red Sea on the following day. Marine war insurance agency Vessel Protect stated that the Houthis had carried out ten strikes in June and five in May.[346]

The Houthis targeted a commercial ship in the Gulf of Aden on 21 June according to the UKMTO center said and the Joint Maritime Information Cente, with no casualties or damage being reported.[221] The Houthis on the next day identified it as the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Transworld Navigator and stated that they had targeted it with ballistic missiles.[347] They also claimed to have targeted the Shorthorn Express in the Mediterranean Sea, but there was no independent confirmation of the attack.[223]

The Houthis targeted the Transworld Navigator again on 23 June using a USV in the Red Sea, with the crew reporting minor injuries and moderate damage to the ship. The group also claimed to have targeted the Stolt Sequoia in the Indian Ocean with cruise missiles.

hypersonic missile called Hatem 2.[351]

The UKMTO on 26 June stated that a merchant ship reported a missile hitting the water nearby while it was passing near Aden, with the crew reported to be safe.[352] The Houthis meanwhile claimed that they targeted the Portuguese-flagged container ship MSC Manzanillo docked in Haifa in a joint operation with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, although the IDF denied the claim.[353] A commercial ship reported being targeted by a USV near Al Hudaydah without suffering any damages or injuries to its crew on 27 June according to the UKMTO and Ambrey.[354][355]

On 28 June, the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Delonix was targeted by five missiles to the northwest of Al Hudaydah but escaped unharmed according to the UKMTO, although the Houthis claimed that it took a direct hit. The group also claimed to have targeted the bulk carrier Ioannis in the Red Sea, as well as the oil tanker Waler and the container ship Johannes Maersk in the Mediterranean Sea.[356][225]

The Houthis on 1 July claimed to have again targeted the Delonix in the Red Sea, in addition to targeting MSC Unific in the Arabian Sea, the British sealift ship Anvil Point in the Indian Ocean and the Lucky Sailor in the Mediterranean Sea. None of the attacks could be confirmed however.[357][358]

The American-flagged container ship Maersk Sentosa on 9 July reported an explosion nearby while passing through Nishtun, although reporting no injuries or damages. The Houthis claimed the attack and stated that they had carried it out using ballistic and wing missiles. The group also claimed to have attacked the Maltese-flagged container ship Marathoplis in the Arabian Sea and the Liberian-flagged MSC Patnaree III in the Gulf of Aden using UAVs.[359][360]

A merchant ship near Mokha reported one missile hitting the water near it and another exploding in the air on 12 July.[361]

Timeline of attacks

Date Vessel attacked Agent Result Ref
Name Flag
19 November 2023 Galaxy Leader  Bahamas Houthi Mil Mi-17 helicopter Hijacked [362]
24 November 2023 CMA CGM Symi  Malta Iran (Alleged) Damaged [363]
26 November 2023 Central Park  Liberia Houthi crew Unharmed [364]
3 December 2023 Number 9  Panama Houthi ballistic missile Minor damage [248]
3 December 2023 Sophie II  Panama Houthi ballistic missile Minor damage [365]
3 December 2023 Unity Explorer  Bahamas Houthi ballistic missile Minor damage [365]
12 December 2023 Strinda  Norway Houthi missile Set afire [251]
13 December 2023 Ardmore Encounter  Marshall Islands Houthi drones Unharmed [257]
14 December 2023 Maersk Gibraltar  Hong Kong Houthi missile Unharmed [254]
15 December 2023 MSC Alanya  Liberia Houthi naval missile Unknown [251]
15 December 2023 MSC Palatium III  Liberia Houthi Naval missile Unknown [366]
15 December 2023 Al-Jasrah  Liberia Houthi projectile Set afire [259]
18 December 2023 MSC Clara  Panama Houthi drones Unknown [367]
18 December 2023 Swan Atlantic  Norway Houthi drones Minor damage [367]
26 December 2023 MSC United VIII  Liberia Houthi naval missile Unknown [368]
30 December 2023 Maersk Hangzhou  Singapore Houthi land-based missile Minor damage [263]
31 December 2023 Maersk Hangzhou  Singapore Houthi crew Unharmed [369]
12 January 2024 Khalissa  Panama Houthi projectile Unknown [370]
15 January 2024 Gibraltar Eagle  Marshall Islands Houthi anti-ship missile Minor damage [371]
16 January 2024 Zografia  Malta Ballistic missile Minor damage [269]
17 January 2024 Genco Picardy  Marshall Islands Houthi drone Minor damage [271]
18 January 2024 Chem Ranger  Marshall Islands Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile Unharmed [372]
22 January 2024 Ocean Jazz  United States Houthis Unknown [373]
24 January 2024 Maersk Detroit  United States Houthi missile Unharmed [277]
24 January 2024 Maersk Chesapeake  United States Houthi missile Unharmed [277]
26 January 2024 Marlin Luanda  Marshall Islands Houthi missile Set afire [235]
28 January 2024 USS Lewis B. Puller  United States Houthi missile (Houthi claim) Unknown [374]
30 January 2024 Koi  Liberia Houthi naval missiles Unknown [375]
6 February 2024 Morning Tide  Barbados Houthis Minor damage [288]
6 February 2024 Star Nasia  Marshall Islands Houthis Minor damage [288][376]
12 February 2024 Star Iris  Marshall Islands Houthi missiles Minor damage [377]
16 February 2024 Pollux  Panama Houthi missile Minor damage [378]
18 February 2024 Rubymar  Belize Houthi anti-ship missile Sunk [35]
19 February 2024 Sea Champion  Greece Houthi naval missiles Minor damage [379]
19 February 2024 Navis Fortuna  Marshall Islands Houthi naval missile Minor damage [379]
22 February 2024 Islander  Palau Houthi missile Damaged [380]
6 March 2024 True Confidence  Barbados Houthi anti-ship missile Set afire [381]
8 March 2024 Propel Fortune  Singapore Houthi anti-ship missiles Unknown [382]
24 March 2024 Huang Pu  Panama Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile Unknown [307]
7 April 2024 Hope Island  Marshall Islands Houthis Unknown [313][312][311]
7 April 2024 MSC Grace  Panama Houthis Unknown
7 April 2024 MSC Gina  Panama Houthis Unknown
9 April 2024 Maersk Yorktown  United States Houthi anti-ship missile Unharmed [314]
9 April 2024 MSC Gina  Panama Houthis Unknown [315]
9 April 2024 MSC Darwin VI  Liberia Houthis Unknown [315]
24 April 2024 Maersk Yorktown  United States Houthi missile Unharmed [314]
24 April 2024 MSC Veracruz  Portugal Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile Unknown [316]
26 April 2024 Andromeda Star  Panama Houthi missiles Minor damage [316]
26 April 2024 Maisha  Antigua and Barbuda Houthi missile Unharmed [315]
29 April 2024 Cyclades  Malta Houthi missiles and UAVs Minor damage [322]
29 April 2024 MSC Orion  Portugal Houthi drones Minor damage [323]
18 May 2024 Wind  Panama Houthi missiles Minor damage [329]
23 May 2024 Yannis  Malta Houthi missiles Unharmed [331][330]
23 May 2024 Essex  Liberia Houthi missiles Unharmed [330]
28 May 2024 Laax  Marshall Islands Houthi missiles Damaged [333]
1 June 2024 Abliani  Malta Houthi drones and rockets Unharmed [334][199]
1 June 2024 Maina  Malta Houthi anti-ballistic missiles and armed drones Unharmed [199][200]
1 June 2024 Al Oraiq  Marshall Islands Houthi anti-ballistic missiles and armed drones Unharmed [199][200]
8–9 June 2024 Norderney  Antigua and Barbuda Houthi missiles Set afire [337]
8 June 2024 MSC Tavivshi  Liberia Houthi ballistic missile Set afire [337][383]
9 June 2024 Unknown Unknown Houthi ballistic missile Damaged [339]
12 June 2024 MV Tutor  Liberia Houthi Toufan-1 USV,[384] ballistic missiles, drones Sunk [340][341][385]
13 June 2024 Verbena  Palau Houthi cruise missiles Set afire [343]
13 June 2024 Unknown Unknown Unknown Houthi weapons Unharmed [344]
16 June 2024 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unharmed [215]
21 June 2024 Transworld Navigator  Liberia Houthi ballistic missiles Unharmed [347][221]
23 June 2024 Transworld Navigator  Liberia Houthi USV Damaged [348][349]
24 June 2024 MSC Sarah V  Liberia Houthi Hatem 2 hypersonic missile Unharmed [350][351]
26 June 2024 Unknown Unknown Houthi missile Unharmed [352]
27 June 2024 Unknown Unknown Likely Houthi USV Unharmed [354]
28 June 2024 Delonix  Liberia Houthi ballistic missiles Unharmed [356]
9 July 2024 Maersk Sentosa  United States Houthi missiles Unharmed [359]
12 July 2024 Unknown Unknown Likely Houthi missiles Unharmed [361]

Order of battle

Houthis and allies

Anti-Houthi forces

Israel

Prosperity Guardian

Aspides

Joint Operations (Prosperity Guardian + Aspides)

Independent deployments

Issues

Disinformation

The Houthis and their supporters have engaged in a

disinformation campaign to undermine efforts to secure freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and surrounding waters by the United States and its allies and to gain recognition as a regional power.[409] On 1 February 2024, the Houthis claimed an attack on a US ship named KOI, but maritime sources told BBC that it was false.[410] Hezbollah-affiliated news outlets such as Islam Times and Al Mayadeen have backed false claims by the Houthis. On 28 January, Islam Times released footage of the 2021 X-Press Pearl fire, purporting it displayed the aftermath of a Houthi attack on a British ship. Three days later, Al Mayadeen reported that the Houthis accurately struck USS Gravely, but the claim was rejected by US officials.[411]

Social media users on platforms such as Weibo and X have published old or doctored images and videos falsely claiming them as Houthi attacks. In February 2024, users on X posted the 2018 sinking of the USS Racine (LST-1191) and the X-Press Pearl disaster, claiming they showed the Houthi attacks on the Star Nasia and Morning Tide.[412] In June 2024, users posted satellite images of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower with damage digitally edited onto it, claiming that it was the result of a Houthi attack.[409] Other mislabeled or digitally edited photographs and videos were also published purporting damage to the aircraft carrier, though some were satire.[413][414]

Footage from the Czech-based video game Arma 3 has also been used to spread disinformation about the conflict, with Russian websites such as The Intel Drop and Pravda publishing gameplay, falsely claiming it showed attacks on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. The video game's developers, Bohemia Interactive, said that action taken against the videos was ineffective, saying: "With every video flagged, debunked, or taken down, ten more can be uploaded each day."[409] Footage from the video game has also been misrepresented as attacks on shipping[415] and a US fighter jet being shot down by the Houthis over Sanaa.[416]

Foreign involvement

Iran

unnamed Iranian sources and "a security official close to Iran", has claimed that Iranian personnel are in Yemen, working with Hezbollah militants. Their role involves directing and overseeing Houthi attacks on commercial shipping. The sources also stated that Iran has escalated its provision of advanced drones, anti-ship cruise missiles, precision-strike ballistic missiles, and medium-range missiles to the Houthis, since the outbreak of the Israel–Hamas war.[3]

US officials told

Qods Force, has overseen the transfer of the attack drones, cruise missiles, and medium-range ballistic missiles which have been used in the strikes on Red Sea and Israeli targets in recent weeks.[1]

According to Western intelligence officials, the Iranian

Iranian frigate Alborz later also entered the Red Sea.[390]

In July 2024, the Defense Intelligence Agency reported that the Houthis used an Iranian-made missile in their attack on the Norwegian-flagged Strinda on 11 December 2023. Features of Iran's Tolu-4 turbojet engine, used in their Noor missile, were found in the debris. An insurance group earlier stated that an Iranian-made missile was used after examining debris aboard the vessel.[419][420]

North Korea

Voice of America reported that North Korea may have shipped weapons to the Houthis via Iran based on Hangul writing that was found on Houthi-launched missiles.[421]

War crimes

The Houthis have claimed they would target ships that had no military function, which would be a war crime, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) and others. The HRW also noted that the detention of captured crews could be considered hostage-taking if they are detained to compel a third party to do or abstain from any act as a condition for the hostage's release or safety. Hostage-taking is a violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime. A statement issued by the HRW called upon the militants to "end their attacks on civilians caught in the crosshairs of their declared war on Israel."[422]

Impact

Israel and Egypt

Houthi attacks have reduced shipping to Israel and local trade. Commercial shipping to Eilat has almost completely ceased. Commercial ships coming from Asia to Israel, as well as some commercial ships not destined for Israel, have started to go around Africa, which makes the journey three weeks longer and more expensive.[423] By 21 December, over 100 container ships had been rerouted to go around Africa, each adding around 6,000 nautical miles to the trip distance.[424]

Insurance costs for commercial ships that go through the Red Sea have increased; some Israeli ships have seen an increase of 250%, and others were unable to get any insurance.[425]

While Israelis would face delays in the supply chain and price hikes, the effects on the Egyptian economy are more severe as shipping through the Suez Canal contributes nearly $9.4 billion to the Egyptian economy which is suffering from a debt crisis made worse by trade disruptions with Israel due to the war in Gaza.[426][427]

In March, Israeli media reported that half of the workers at Eilat Port were at risk of losing their jobs after the port took a major financial hit due to the crisis in the Red Sea. The Histadrut Labor Federation, the umbrella organization for hundreds of thousands of public sector workers, said port management announced it intended to fire half of the 120 Eilat Port employees.[428]

Global economy

Major shipping companies suspended ship traffic through the Red Sea due to the attacks, including

container shipping market,[435] announced on 25 December 2023 that it would resume operations soon as a result of Operation Prosperity Guardian.[436] By 30 December, Maersk had resumed Red Sea operations, but again paused them following the attacks on Maersk Guangzhou.[263] The following May, based on the second quarter of its fiscal 2024 figures, Maersk estimated a capacity loss of 15–20 percent across the industry due to the Red Sea crisis.[437]

On 12 January,

Grünheide factory, its only factory in Europe, for two weeks starting 29 January due to supply chain issues caused by Houthi attacks.[438][439] Volvo Cars also said it would halt production from its plant in Ghent for three days starting the following week.[440] Shell plc announced a hold on "transit" through the Red Sea.[441]

On 18 December, Evergreen Marine Corporation announced it was suspending its import and export service to Israel because of risk and safety considerations.[442][443] COSCO, the fourth-largest shipping company, and its container shipping subsidiary OOCL similarly stopping all services to Israel in early January 2024.[444]

On 21 December, the chief executive of Eilat Port said the port has seen an 85% drop in activity since the Yemeni attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.[94][443] Many ships instead took a safer route, going around Africa and the Cape of Good Hope,[435] although this route incurs an extra ten days, spends more fuel, and requires more crew time.[445] The suspension of a large volume of trade through the Red Sea led to a decrease in use of the Suez Canal, and was thus a blow to the Egyptian economy.[435]

A considerable number of freighters have continued to transit, with mostly large container ships diverting away rather than other shipping, with the strait continuing to be heavily used by bulk carriers and tankers which are under different contract arrangements and often from countries supportive of Gaza's situation so perceiving a minimal risk from ongoing Houthi attacks.[446][447] In the first week of January 2024 the average number of freighters active each day in the Red Sea included 105 bulk carriers and 58 tankers, down from 115 bulk carriers and 70 tankers the week before.[448] In contrast, six of the ten largest container shipping companies were largely avoiding the Red Sea,[449] with relatively few container ships transiting the Bab al-Mandeb strait from 18 December 2023.[450]

Following

safe passage.[451]

As of January 2024, most marine insurers require a warranty of no Israeli involvement to insure vessels for the Red Sea route, with some requiring warranties of no US or UK interest and no calls to Israeli ports in the last 12 months.[452]

Qatar has halted tankers of liquefied natural gas through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait after US-led airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen increased risks in the strait. Considering that Qatar is Europe's second-largest supplier of LNG, the long-term suspension of exports has raised concerns as the winter season begins in Europe.[453]

On 16 January, the British multinational oil and gas company Shell suspended all Red Sea shipments indefinitely due to attacks on commercial vessels.[454] Some ships traveling through the Red Sea began broadcasting "No contact Israel" on their automatic identification system in response to a Houthi request to vessels without ties to Israel.[455][456]

By February 2024, more than half of the United Kingdom's export businesses were affected by disruption to shipping in the Red Sea, with companies surveyed reporting that the costs of hiring containers increased by 300%.[457] Businesses then stated that the crisis had also caused cashflow difficulties and shortages of components on production lines.[457]

A

UNCTAD analysis found that, from December 2023 to February 2024, spot container rates from Shanghai to Europe rose by 256% on average, mostly due to Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping. Compare to the same period a year earlier, there were also 42% fewer cargo ships transiting the Suez Canal.[458]

In June 2024, the US Defense Intelligence Agency reported that the Houthi attacks caused a 90% decrease in container shipping through the Red Sea from December 2023 to February 2024. Additionally, the report said that 29 energy and shipping companies across 65 countries were affected and forced to change their shipping routes, most of them choosing to go around the Cape of Good Hope which adds an extra 11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km; 13,000 mi), ten days of travel, and US$1,000,000 in fuel costs to each voyage.[459][460]

Humanitarian

Houthi attacks have held up shipments containing vital aid for

ongoing armed conflict that put millions at risk of famine. Sudanese director of the International Rescue Committee Eatizaz Yousif said the attacks made shipments which normally take one or two weeks take months to reach the country, since shipping carrying aid en route to Port Sudan has been forced to navigate around Africa, traverse through the Mediterranean, and then enter the Red Sea via the Suez Canal to reach their destination.[461]

Reactions

UN Security Council

On 10 January 2024, the

UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2722. The resolution, sponsored by the US and Japan, condemned the Houthi attacks, affirmed freedom of navigation and the right of member states to defend their ships, and demanded that the Houthis immediately release the Galaxy Leader and its crew.[462] The vote was 11–0, with four abstentions.[463] Among the permanent five members of the Security Council, the US, UK, and France supported the resolution, and Russia and China abstained.[463]

Israel and Egypt

In a speech at a manufacturing

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged all parties in the Israel–Hamas war to respect Egypt's sovereignty, and emphasized that the Egyptian Army was able to protect the country in case of any more attacks.[464]

In early December 2023, Israel called upon Western allies to respond to threats to maritime shipping from the Houthis; Israeli

National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi said that if threats continue, "we will act to remove this blockade."[252]
The Southern Transitional Council reportedly said in December 2023 that it was willing to cooperate with Israel to fight against the Houthis.[465] However, Al-Islah expressed support for the Houthi response to the Israel–Hamas war, despite its opposition to Houthi actions in the Yemeni Civil War.[466]

Houthi response

On 25 January 2024, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi stated, "Our battle aims to support the Palestinian people, and has no other goals," and said that the Houthi's operations would cease once food and medicine was reaching all of Gaza.[467] On 30 January, Houthi Minister of Defence Mohamed al-Atifi stated, "We are prepared for a long-term confrontation with the forces of tyranny."[468] A Houthi spokesperson stated on 4 February 2024, "When the world became alarmed by the bloodiness of what was happening against the Palestinian people, Washington was not ashamed to deny the occurrence of genocide. Anyone who can do that can easily deny the connection between what is happening in the Red Sea and Gaza."[469]

Operation Prosperity Guardian: American-led military coalition

While the US Navy has shot down Houthi rockets and missiles in the Red Sea, it has not retaliated against those firing them.[470][471] In December 2023, after discussions with allies, the US announced the creation of a multilateral naval task force of protective escorts for commercial vessels in the Bab-el-Mandeb strait and Gulf of Aden region.[471] The operation, codenamed Operation Prosperity Guardian,[472] was formally launched on 23 December 2023.[445] It is similar to past operations protecting commercial vessels from attack, including in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz during the "Tanker War" of the 1980s,[471] and the ongoing maritime security operations of Combined Task Force 153, the US Navy-led task force based in Bahrain.[435] The operation has also been compared to the successful multilateral naval campaign a decade earlier to combat Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa, although the Houthis, unlike the Somali pirates, enjoy Iranian support, and better equipment and technology, such as helicopters, drones, missiles, and speedboats.[473]

Independent naval patrols for maritime security

France, Italy and India have all independently sent naval assets to the region, with the French frigate Languedoc intercepting drones launched from a Houthi-controlled port while Italy has sent the frigate Virginio Fasan under the Secure Mediterranean operation.[11] India has also sent two Kolkata-class destroyers to strengthen maritime security in the Red Sea.[14]

Pro-Palestinian protests

In mid-January 2024, reports indicated that pro-Palestinian demonstrators in London voiced support for Houthi militants. This occurred shortly after the UK and the US initiated strikes on Houthi targets in response to the group's assaults on ships. Some demonstrators were observed chanting slogans like, "Yemen, Yemen make us proud, turn another ship around," while others displayed signs with messages such as "Hands off Yemen", "Thanks Yemen", and "UK+US wants war. Yemen supports Palestine. Gaza wants to live".[474]

International

  •  Bahrain: In January 2024, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Antony Blinken discussed the Houthi attacks and reaffirmed their shared commitment to ensure freedom of navigation.[475] Bahrain was the sole Arab country to join Operation Prosperity Guardian.[476]
  •  
    Chinese Foreign Ministry said it was concerned about the Red Sea crisis and called for an end to the attacks.[477] China abstained from UN Security Council Resolution 2722.[478]
  •  Denmark: Denmark voiced its support for the US and UK strikes against the Houthis and warned them to halt their attacks on commercial shipping.[479]
  •  Djibouti: Djibouti intensified coast guard patrols along the Bab-el-Mandeb amidst the crisis.[480] Djibouti Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahamoud Ali Youssouf said that the attacks demonstrate "strong solidarity with the people of Palestine" and voiced support for the Houthis. Nevertheless he called for the Houthis to end their attacks as they impacted the country's economy.[481]
  •  France: France condemned Houthi attacks against commercial vessels and expressed its support for the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2722.[482]
  •  Germany: Germany condemned Houthi attacks, describing them as violent and against international law. It said that the attacks are irresponsible and put the lives of crew members aboard vessels at risk.[483][484]
  •  India: India held diplomatic talks with Iran and took measures to protect Indian exporters from the attacks, including increasing surveillance and providing protective escorts to Indian vessels.[485]
  •  Iran: Iran voiced support for Houthi operations.[486] It also condemned the strikes on Houthis in Yemen, calling them "arbitrary" and saying that they violated international law.[487]
  •  Italy: Italy said that the Houthi attacks must cease without triggering an armed conflict.[488]
  •  
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan condemned Houthi intervention in freedom of navigation, and voiced support for the United States and other nations for fulfilling their responsibility in securing free and safe navigation.[489] In November 2023, Japan said it was communicating with the Houthis and Israel to secure the release of the hijacked Galaxy Leader.[490]
  •  Russia: Russia abstained from UN Security Council Resolution 2722 and proposed amendments that would have stripped the endorsement of Operation Prosperity Guardian and recognize the Israel–Hamas war as the root cause of the attacks.[478] It also condemned the US and UK strikes on the Houthis.[491]
  •  Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia called on Iran to work towards de-escalation in the region.[492] It also urged the US to show restraint in its response to the Houthis.[493]
  •  Somalia: Somali Ambassador to Kenya Jabril Ibrahim Abdulle said that the attacks could negatively affect Somalia's economy and voiced concern over the possibility of Al-Shabaab acquiring weapons from the Houthis via sea routes.[494]
  •  United Arab Emirates: The UAE expressed deep concern over the consequences of the Houthi attacks and called them an "unacceptable threat".[495]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Political legitimacy of all Houthi-led government bodies has been rejected by the United Nations, rival Yemeni factions, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the United States.
  2. ^ Multiple sources indicate that the Iranian government has deployed military personnel to Houthi-controlled Yemen who are actively involved in attacks on commercial shipping.[1][2][3]
  3. ^ a b Saudi Arabia and Egypt have not joined the coalition against the Houthis, but they have shot down Houthi missiles over their own territory.
  4. ^ 10 killed on 30–31 December,[20] 75 killed on 12–22 January,[4] 40 killed on 3–5 February,[21] 11 killed on 11 March.[22]
  5. Navy SEALs on 21 January 2024,[24] one Navy sailor on 23 March 2024[25]
  6. ^
    • One injured on 22 February 2024[28]
    • Three killed, four injured on 6 March 2024[29]
    • One injured on 28 May 2024[30]
    • One killed on 12 June 2024[31]
    • One severely injured on 13 June 2024[32]
    • One injured on 23 June 2024[33]

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