U.S. May Soon Cut Houthi Funding to Curb Red Sea Attacks on Commercial Ships

The United States is actively seeking to reduce the financing options available to the Houthi rebels in Yemen in a bid to halt their attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea. The move is part of a broader strategy to ensure the safety of vital maritime trade routes and to pressure the Houthis to cease their aggressive actions.

In recent discussions with its allies, including Saudi Arabia, the U.S. has indicated that it will not endorse a UN-led peace plan for Yemen unless the Houthis, who are backed by Iran, agree to stop targeting merchant vessels in and around the Red Sea.

Yemen has been conflict-ridden for almost a decade now with immense loss of life and property, and the U.S. has been committed to bringing peace to the country. However, maritime attacks must cease to ensure international trade routes’ stability and safety, considering that the Red Sea and Suez Canal are critical passageways for global commerce, connecting Europe and Asia.

Another aspect of this situation is the possibility of the fall of peace in Yemen. If the U.S. continues to push the Houthis, it could potentially jeopardize the fragile truce in Yemen. This insistence on halting maritime attacks might derail the peace process, yet protecting commercial interests and maintaining safe passage for global shipping is deemed necessary.

A part of the U.S. strategy has been conducting several strikes against Houthi missile and drone sites. These military actions aim to reduce the threat posed by the Iran-aligned group. It also includes cutting off financial channels that sustain the Houthi operations. By targeting the economic lifelines of the Houthi rebels, the U.S. aims to weaken their capacity to wage maritime attacks, thereby protecting global trade routes and promoting stability in the region.

Last week, the Houthis escalated their operations by hitting six vessels across the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. This marked the first time the Houthis have extended their reach to the Mediterranean, raising significant concerns among Western nations. They also threatened to expand their attacks further into the Indian Ocean, signaling a broader strategy to disrupt international maritime traffic.

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