Officials of regional and Western security organizations have now reported that Yemen’s Houthis are utilizing real-time intelligence and Iranian paramilitary forces’ armaments, including missiles and drones, to target vessels traversing the Red Sea.
The Houthis, according to officials, have utilized tracking information obtained by a Red Sea surveillance vessel under the control of Iranian paramilitary forces to attack commercial vessels traversing the Bab el-Mandeb strait in recent days.
The Pentagon unveiled plans for a multinational naval force to protect merchant vessels in the Red Sea earlier this week.
In response, numerous prominent shipping lines, oil producers, and cargo proprietors worldwide have commenced redirecting their vessels away from the area, thereby instigating an increase in both oil prices and insurance premiums.
According to officials, while many vessels traversing the strait have deactivated their communications to prevent online tracking, an Iranian vessel stationed in the Red Sea is providing the Houthi with a means to precisely target the ships with its drones and missiles.
As the United States attempts to prevent the conflict from escalating, the direct involvement of Iranian actors in the attacks increases the stakes for Israel and the United States, both of which are eager to contain Tehran’s role in the region.
Furthermore, it risks igniting a new front in the ongoing dispute between Israel and its regional adversaries.
Officials from the White House and the Pentagon have issued a demand for an end to the Houthi attacks against commercial and U.S. Navy vessels.
In the interim, U.S. officials have indicated in private that they are contemplating a military offensive in response to the attacks.