Yemen war: threat to world shipping

Summary: a Houthi attack on Saudi shipping has caused Saudi Arabia to cease sending tankers through the Bab al-Mandab Strait. A reported Houthi drone attack at Abu Dhabi airport.

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1 thought on “Yemen war: threat to world shipping”

  1. It’s just possible that the Huthi attack on the tanker (if it was that) was an Iranian-inspired strike, either as a demonstration of how they could close Hormuz; or to increase the value and price of oil, such that their own becomes crucial to the global markets, and thus functionally immune to US sanctions. More likely, it was a Huthi attempt to increase the pressure on KSA and visibility of the issue.
    One of the strategic problems that the Huthis have / had is that the Sa’udis & Emiratis have very few available points of leverage in Yemen. There are very few Sa’udi personnel in Yemen, and the Asir / Najran region (where the Huthis can raid) is politically unimportant. After the Sep 15 SCARAB strike, the Emiratis withdrew most of their nationals and back-filled with “peripheral” Arabs (and their foreign legion.) Hitting Riyadh and / Abu Dhabi scares citizens, businesses etc and may get them to put what pressure they can on KSA / UAE government. It is also far harder to hide an attack in Riyadh or the UAE with their large populations (including many foreigners), and reasonably good communications.
    The Sa’udi claim to be safeguarding global sea-lanes is comparatively late; their initial aim was to turn back the Huthis who had pushed out the Sa’udi client Hadi. A little later, the Iranian threat was mentioned (presumably to attract regional assistance); only recently has the global nature of the problem been ‘discovered’ (presumably to attract global assistance in getting themselves out of a hole.)

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