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Shipping giant Maersk to resume Red Sea shipping despite Houthi attacks

Shipping giant Maersk to resume Red Sea shipping despite Houthi attacks Maersk to resume Red Sea shipping despite Houthi attacks (photo: wikimedia)

The Danish company Maersk is preparing to resume shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden thanks to a U.S.-led special operation to protect merchant ships from attacks by Yemeni Houthis, reports Reuters.

Earlier this month, the shipping giant suspended shipping through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, due to Houthi attacks on its ships.

Subsequently, the United States announced a special operation aimed at protecting merchant ships in the region.

"We have received confirmation that the previously announced security initiative Operation Prosperity Guardian has now been set up and deployed to allow maritime trade to pass through the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden. We are preparing to allow for vessels to resume transit both eastbound and westbound," Maersk said.

Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea

Since November, Yemeni Houthi rebels have been conducting attacks on trade vessels with ties to Israel in the Red Sea. On December 16, a British destroyer with a Sea Viper missile reportedly intercepted and destroyed a drone that was attempting to target a commercial ship in the Red Sea.

Last week, a winged missile from a Houthi ground-based facility struck the commercial tanker Strinda under the flag of Norway. The vessel suffered severe damage, resulting in a fire on board.

On December 19, the Pentagon announced the initiation of a special operation named Prosperity Guardian to safeguard maritime traffic in the Red Sea. Over 20 countries have already agreed to join the coalition led by the United States to protect commercial shipping in the Red Sea from Houthi attacks.

According to the White House, Iran was "deeply involved" in planning the operations of the Yemeni movement against merchant ships.