The US and UK are to issues the Iranian backed Houthis militant group based in Yemen with a “final warning” which could result in a direct missile attack to finish the job.
Houthis militants have caused havoc for shipping in the Red Sea with attack drones two of which ended up in Egypt, one was shot down close to the resort town of Dahab where thousands of Brits go on holiday.
Lloyd Austin the US counterpart of the British Defence Secretary Gran Shapps is to give their “final warning” to the Houthis in Washington today.
The Houthis have been targeting commercial shipping vessels in the Red Sea from Yemen, military chiefs have had enough and want to move forward with a more “offensive” approach.
Major shipping firms such as BP, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk have been forced to divert routes away from the Red Sea after eight out of 23 ships have been attacked.
BP announced in mid-December that all tanker journeys through the Red Sea will be suspended due to the “deteriorating security situation.”
In December 2023 the Royal Navy warship HMS Diamond shot down an attack drone over the Red Sea, this was the first time the navy fired in “anger” for over 30 years.
The British Defence Secretary warned, “Those terrorists who are disrupting trade in the Red Sea are drinking in the last chance saloon. Diplomatic efforts have been made to find a resolution but with limited success.
“We cannot allow one of the world’s key waterways that serves global trade to be held for ransom.
“Attacks on commercial shipping with drones and missiles is an attack on all of us and the culture and freedoms we cherish.
“There is no justification for targeting civilian shipping in this way. We need an immediate end to these illegal attacks.
“If the Houthis continue to threaten lives and trade, we will be forced to take the necessary and appropriate action.”