Houthi Militants Attack US Container Ship With Ballistic Missiles Days After Biden Attack On Yemen

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Jan 15, 2024 - 08:00 PM

So much for the billions in taxpayer funds spent on Operation "Prosperity Guardian", the Biden admin's brilliant plan to "protect" shipping through the Red Sea against Houthi attacks.

On Monday, Houthi militants struck another US-owned container ship with an anti-ship ballistic missile, underscoring how catastrophic Biden's attempt to protect one of the world's busiest shipping lanes has been, and that the world’s most important trade artery remains too risky for navigation despite explicit US guarantees for safe passage.

The Gibraltar Eagle, a Marshall Islands-flagged, U.S.-owned and operated container ship, was struck at about 4 p.m. local time in the Gulf of Aden, US Central Command said on X. Nobody was injured, the vessel avoided significant damage and was able continue its journey, it said.

Eagle Bulk Shipping, operator of Gibraltar Eagle, confirmed the ship was hit by a projectile and suffered limited damage to a cargo hold before sailing away from the area. It was carrying steel products.

The strike underscores warnings from the US, reported by a top industry trade group, that ships should steer clear of the Red Sea. Pete Buttigieg's Department of Transportation also issued a warning to US merchant ships Monday telling them to avoid the area until further notice, thus confirming that Prosperity Guardian has been a total multi-billion dollar flop.

 2024-001B-Red Sea and Gulf of Aden-Potential Retaliatory Attacks by Houthi Forces

There continues to be a high degree of risk to commercial vessels transiting the Southern Red Sea between 12N and 16N. While the decision to transit remains at the discretion of individual vessels and companies, it is recommended that U.S. flag and U.S. owned commercial vessels remain North of 18N in the Red Sea or East of 46E in the Gulf of Aden until further notice. Additional updates will be provided when available. This alert will not automatically expire and will be updated or cancelled as needed. Any questions regarding this alert should be directed to U.S. Naval Forces NCAGS at +973-1785-0033 (Primary/Watch Desk), +973-3940-4523 (Alternate),

The latest attack on a US-owned and operated ship comes just days after US and UK forces had theatrically bombed targets in Yemen following months of attacks on commercial ships by Houthi militants, who had been targeting vessels with any kind of connection with Israel. The Houthis warned of reprisals against US and UK ships for the bombing, and sure enough, they did just that. Meanwhile, the Biden admin is keeping it "retaliatory" attacks to the barest optical minimum as it is terrified that if it strikes too hard at Iranian targets, some or all of Iran's precious 4mmb/d in oil would be pulled from the market, leading to an explosion in oil prices and devastation for Biden in the Nov elections.

The DOT's navigation warning, posted on LinkedIn by the world’s largest international shipping association Bimco, cited advice from the US Naval Forces Central Command. It warned the current instability could yet last for “some time.”

“Coalition forces and Bimco continue to recommend shipping companies to consider avoiding shipping operations in the area,” the trade group said, crushing any credibility the Biden admin may have had of preserving stability in the Red Sea, and making a mockery of US attempts to contain the Houthi rebels.

The maritime industry had already been warned on Friday to stay away from the region, but initial guidance suggested the pause might only last for three days. That was echoed by the Department of Transportation’s own 72-hour warning on Friday, which became on indefinite one on Monday. Unfortunately, due to the sheer incompetence of the US military, which is more concerned with being inclusive and equitably accepting of overweight trannies with blue hair than actually being in fighting shape, what was a 3-day lockdown is now indefinite.

The attacks are driving up shipping costs as vessels avoiding the area are forced to sail thousands of miles further around Africa instead. That’s raised the specter of a renewed wave of inflation and means delays to the delivery of every thing from commodities to manufactured goods.

Gas tankers from Qatar are among the latest vessels that have seemingly been forced the long way around but numerous shipowners have heeded the warnings. On Friday, multiple tanker companies said they were pausing transits through a stretch of water that’s vital for the shipment of everything from oil to manufactured goods.