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Yemen’s Houthis Threaten to Hit US Ships as More Tankers Steer Clear

A missile is launched from a warship during the US-led coalition operation against military targets in Yemen, aimed at the Iran-backed Houthi militia that has been targeting international shipping in the Red Sea, from an undisclosed location, in this handout picture released on Jan. 12, 2024. Photo: US Central Command via X/Handout via REUTERS

Yemen’s Houthi movement will expand its targets in the Red Sea region to include US ships, an official from the Iran-allied group said on Monday, as it vowed to keep up attacks after US and British strikes on its sites in Yemen.

Attacks by the Houthis on ships in the area since November have impacted companies and alarmed major powers in an escalation of the more than three-month war between Israel and Hamas terrorists in Gaza. The group says it is acting in solidarity with Palestinians.

British and American ships had become “legitimate targets” due to the strikes launched by the two countries on Yemen last week, Nasruldeen Amer, a spokesperson for the Houthis, told Al Jazeera.

“The ship doesn’t necessarily have to be heading to Israel for us to target it, it is enough for it to be American,” Amer said. “The United States is on the verge of losing its maritime security.”

The Houthis previously said they would only target Israeli ships or those en route to Israel.

In the latest apparent attack, Houthi terrorists struck a US-owned vessel carrying steel products with an anti-ship ballistic missile on Monday.

The dry bulk carrier Gibraltar Eagle was struck while south of the Yemeni port of Aden, causing a fire in a hold but no injuries on board, operator Eagle Bulk Shipping said.

The ship was continuing on its way, it said.

Container vessels have been pausing or diverting from the Red Sea that leads to the Suez Canal, the fastest freight route from Asia to Europe. Many ship have been forced to take the longer route via the Cape of Good Hope instead.

Ship-tracking data on Monday showed at least 15 tankers altering course in response to the escalating conflict.

LNG TANKERS

QatarEnergy, the world’s second largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has joined those avoiding the Red Sea, a senior source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Qatar’s Al Ghariya, Al Huwaila, and Al Nuaman LNG tankers loaded at Ras Laffan and were heading to the Suez Canal but stopped in Oman on Jan. 14, LSEG ship-tracking data showed. The Al Rekayyat, which was sailing back to Qatar, stopped in the Red Sea on Jan. 13.

“It is a pause to get security advice, if passing [through the] Red Sea remains unsafe we will go via the Cape,” the source told Reuters regarding QatarEnergy.

The Qatari government and QatarEnergy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

About 12 percent of world shipping traffic transits the Suez Canal via the Red Sea.

The longer route round Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, which various shipping firms have opted for, can add about nine days to the normally 18-day trip from Qatar to northwest Europe.

The Houthis have been at war with a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen for years, but have turned their sights on the sea to show support for the Palestinian terror group Hamas in Gaza.

On Sunday, the United States said its fighter aircraft had shot down an anti-ship cruise missile fired by the militants toward a US destroyer. No injuries or damage were reported, it said on X/Twitter.

US ally Britain said it had no desire to be involved in Red Sea conflict but was committed to protecting free navigation.

“Let’s wait and see what happens,” Defense Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News on Monday regarding potential further strikes on Houthi sites.

China also called for an end to attacks on civilian vessels in the Red Sea that have placed Beijing’s commercial interests at risk.

SUPPLIES AFFECTED

With vessels pausing or diverting, some supply lines are being affected.

Carmaker Suzuki on Monday said it was halting production at its Esztergom plant in Hungary until Jan. 21 as the Red Sea attacks had delayed the arrival of Japanese-made engines.

In energy markets, however, the impact was limited. European benchmark gas prices were lower in afternoon trade on Monday, LSEG data showed, while oil prices lost roughly 1 percent as the conflict’s limited impact on crude output prompted profit taking after oil benchmarks gained 2 percent last week.

The post Yemen’s Houthis Threaten to Hit US Ships as More Tankers Steer Clear first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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‘The mobs will not silence my voice’ says Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman after her Thornhill office is plastered with anti-Israel posters

Posters slamming Israel and decrying Canada’s suspension of funding to UNRWA were found at the Thornhill, Ont., offices of Melissa Lantsman, a pro-Israel and Jewish Conservative MP who serves as deputy leader of the Official Opposition.   “Blood on Your Hands,” “Stop Arming Israel” and “Fund UNRWA Now” were among the messages found taped to […]

The post ‘The mobs will not silence my voice’ says Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman after her Thornhill office is plastered with anti-Israel posters appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed

FILE PHOTO: Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi speaks during his transition ceremony with the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, and the outgoing chief, in Jerusalem, January 16, 2023. Maya Alleruzzo/Pool via REUTERS

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi called on the ultra-Orthodox public to mobilize for the current and future wars, a position at odds with their historic role in the state, in which they enjoy near blanket exemptions from military service.

“In these challenging days, there is one thing that is very clear: Everyone should mobilize for the defense of the homeland,” Halevi said.

He added: “This is a different era, and what was before it will certainly be re-examined. The IDF has always sought to bring into its ranks from all sections of Israeli society. This war illustrates the need to change. Join the service, protect the homeland. We have a historic opportunity to expand the sources of recruitment for the IDF at a time when the necessity is very high. We will know how to create the right solutions and conditions for any population that will join this noble mission.”

The issue of ultra-Orthodox enlistment in the IDF has been a hot button issue since the state’s establishment in 1948 and, in more recent years, the cause of wide scale backlash against the community. As part of an agreement when the state was founded, the ultra-Orthodox public was exempted completely from service. However, as the years progressed and the population grew exponentially, critics of the policy decried the unfairness of it.

A bill last week was introduced by the ruling Likud Party that called for an increase in military service time, particularly for reserve forces, yet failed to discuss the ultra-Orthodox issue. Backlash from both opposition and coalition members was swift.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich at the time said, “The ultra-Orthodox public is dear and loved and contributes a lot to the State of Israel, and it is now essential that it also take a more significant part in the tasks of defense and security. This move should happen out of dialogue and discussion and not by coercion or, God forbid, by defamation. Religious Zionism proves that it is possible to combine Torah study and observance of minor and severe mitzvot together with military service at the front. My ultra-Orthodox brothers, we need you!”

Halevi’s comments were his first on the highly contentious issue.

The post IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Israeli victims of the Oct. 7 attacks present their case to the International Criminal Court, hoping for arrest warrants against Hamas

A legal brief documenting the kidnapping, rape, torture and executions of Israelis who are being held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza has been filed at the International Criminal Court by the Canadian-based Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. The 1,000-page dossier documents the brutality of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, which killed […]

The post Israeli victims of the Oct. 7 attacks present their case to the International Criminal Court, hoping for arrest warrants against Hamas appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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