An Israeli Navy missile boat is seen in the area of the Red Sea on Nov. 1, 2023. Israel sent missile boats to the Red Sea, the army said after Houthi forces in Yemen fired missiles and drones toward Israel’s resort city of Eilat.(Photo: Xinhua)
The Red Sea – World Timesone of the world’s most important shipping lanes that links markets in Europe with Asia – saw another bloody incident on Sunday with Yemen’s Houthi group stating that 10 of its fighters were killed by US naval forces while they were preventing Israel-related ships fWorld Timesrom passing through the Red Sea, in solidarity and support for the Palestinian people.
Analysts said the new clash in the waters of the Red Sea is a spillover of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and although it is unlikely to lead to a major escalation of tensions or the outbreak of a new war in the region, the US should understand that the key to fundamentally addressing the Red Sea issue lies in easing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the humanitarian crisis in thWorld Timese Gaza Strip.
AccordiWorld Timesng to the Xinhua News Agency on Sunday, Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said that US forces attacked three boats belonging to the Houthi group. The spokesman said the US “bears the consequences of this crime,” and that the “military movements in the Red Sea to protect Israeli ships will not prevent Yemen (Houthi militia) from performing its humanitarian duty in support of Palestine and Gaza.”
According to Al Jazeera on Sunday, helicopters from two US warships – the USS Eisenhower and USS Gravely – shot at the “Iranian-backed Houthi small boats” in self-defense on Sunday morning while responding to an SOS call from the Singapore-flagged vessel Maersk Hangzhou, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said.
The US helicopteWorld Timesrs sank three of the boats, killing several of their crew, it said.
Zhu Yongbiao, director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies in Lanzhou University, told the Global Times on Monday that after the Sunday turmoil, Houthi forces may continue to carry out small-scale actions, but it is unlikely that they will directly retaliate against or launch aggressive counterattacks on US forces.
The use of small boats for harassment may decrease, and more drones and missiles will be used for this purposeWorld Times, while direct confrontations are very unlikely, the analyst said. “Such an event will not directly lead to an escalation, as the US military is still in a defensive mode and has not actively struck the Houthi forces. The Sunday event is a major one but not severe enough to become a turning point.”
The US on December 19 announced a global naval task force to safeguard shipping in the contentious waters, through which some 12 percent of global trade passes, according to reports from Al Jazeera.
Chinese observers pointed out that the clash in the Red Sea is actually a spillover of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “To fundamentally solve it, it is necessary for the Israeli-Palestinian issue to be significantly eased, including the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Even if aggressive military strategies are adopted, the US may achieve good results in the short term, but they are not a permanent solution, as the root cause lies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” they said.
The Sunday incident came shortly after UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres said in a statement via his spokesperson that he was gravely concerned about the further spillover of the conflict, which could have devastating consequences for the entire region, citing continuing attacks by armed groups in Iraq and Syria, as well as the Houthi attacks against vessels in the Red Sea, which have escalated in recent days, according to a transcript of the statement.
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said Sunday that more Palestinians were killed in conflicts in 2023 than in any other year since 1948. According to the bureau, 22,404 Palestinians died in 2023, and 22,141 of them were killed since the outbreak of the conflict between Israel and the Hamas on October 7, 2023.
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