The US and its allies have been trying to stop the Houthis but their attacks on ships continue

On the flight deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier on operation 
in the Southern Red Sea, on March 19.

The success of the Iran-backed rebel group in stymying the world’s most sophisticated militaries is the latest setback for Washington’s efforts to limit the spread of a regional conflict that began with Hamas’ deadly attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

Admiral Marc Miguez, commander of the flotilla, concedes the US and its allies have more work to do.

“It’s a quite binary situation,” Rolf Habben Jansen, chief executive officer of Hapag-Lloyd AG said on an earnings call this month. “It is either safe for our people or it is not. As long as it is not safe, we will not send our people through the Red Sea.”

Iranian supplies are getting through. Iran has also sent advisers, including specialists in laying mines at sea, according to people familiar with the situation.

The Houthis are “putting it all together and assembling,” General Michael Kurilla, commander of the US Central Command, said.

“They don’t create inertial navigation systems. They don’t create medium-range ballistic missile engines. They don’t create the stage separations on these medium-range ballistic missiles or the anti-ship cruise missiles.”

Bloomberg 27 March 2024


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