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How Yemen’s war is now threatening international trade

The recent attacks on vessels in the Red Sea by Yemen's Houthis and the United States threaten international trade along this route.

The United States has accused Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who took over the country’s capital in September 2014, of launching multiple attacks by anti-ship missiles — two Oct. 10 and a possible third Oct. 15 — on its ships in the Red Sea. These attacks came after the Houthis targeted the United Arab Emirates (UAE) vessel SWIFT and released footage of the attack.

While the Houthi attack that damaged the UAE’s SWIFT on Oct. 1 was strongly condemned by the UAE, which called it an “act of terrorism,” the US reaction to attempted missile strikes on its ships was fiercer. In retaliation against the attacks on the US destroyer Mason destroyer and the amphibious transport dock Ponce on Oct. 10, the US military targeted three coastal radar sites along the Red Sea despite the Houthis’ denial of carrying out those attacks against the US targets.

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