The fallout from the ongoing Gaza conflict is having an increasingly pronounced impact on the global economy. Oil prices briefly rallied following Hamas’ 7 October attack on Israel, but this proved short-lived, while even the curbing of Israeli gas flows to Egypt proved temporary. However, despite the determination of key actors to keep the conflict contained, Yemen’s Houthis have opened up a new front in the Red Sea which is having a much more profound impact on global supply chains.
The Houthis, who control much of Yemen’s north and west, have demonstrated their ability to impact the country’s maritime area since a ceasefire expired in October 2022. After attacking oil infrastructure and ports controlled by the internationally-recognized government and effectively shutting down oil exports, they have now begun an aggressive asymmetric campaign to disrupt shipping in the Red Sea. Previous ad hoc attacks, such as against Saudi Aramco tankers in 2018 (MEES, 1 December 2018), caused limited disruption, but the group’s sustained offensive since early November has taken this to a whole new level. (CONTINUED - 1847 WORDS)