Review of the events of the New Year's week in the Red Sea

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Review of the events of the New Year's week in the Red Sea

The New Year did not become a reason for a pause in the aggravation of the situation around commercial shipping in the Red Sea. Recent incidents include an attack by the Houthis with anti-ship missiles on a Maersk corporation container ship (shot down by the US Navy), and an attack on the same ship by a UAV (there was damage). Next, American helicopters spent several hours hunting small Houthi boats at sea (the sinking of three units was announced).

On the first day of the new year, the Iranian destroyer Alborz with cruise missiles on board entered the Red Sea. The destroyer, although built in 1972, has undergone a very deep modernization and takes an active part in international military exercises.



Some Iranian and Middle Eastern resources carried information that there were initially two Iranian ships, but they were previously located to the south, did not “see” their place and did not directly enter the Red Sea.

Now at least one ship has appeared “officially” and will most likely be patrolling near Hodeidah, the main port of North Yemen. Since both the Houthis and the US Navy, together with the British, are likely to exchange blows, and food security in northern Yemen directly depends on the work of Hodeidah. Hodeidah is also the main port for aid supplies from Iran itself.

It is very interesting that in the confusion of these events, there was another attempt using a UAV to attack a merchant ship from Saudi Arabia (the United States officially stated that the drone allegedly flew from Iran).

What else can be noted over the past week is the multiple increase in activity in this direction from the UK. London is already directly threatening to strike the Houthis and, unlike other participants in the American “maritime coalition,” it is operating in the Red Sea together with the United States.

Everything seems to be going according to the scenario for further escalation, right up to the point of no return, but let’s try to look at this history a little wider. Even the methods of generating and managing this kind of chaos are interesting here; another thing is that there were many cases when at different stages this very controllability was lost.

Before the New Year, former British Prime Minister A. Blair made visits to Palestine and the Arabian states. He is a well-known personality in the region; the war in Iraq was launched, among other things, under his leadership. He subsequently made something like apologetic statements, but one must understand that before these statements there were long investigations by a special parliamentary commission with conclusions that the initial data were erroneous.

And so “Tony the Bomber” went on tour, where he tried to convince Arabian leaders to help accept or sponsor the movement of refugees from the Gaza Strip. The leadership of the Palestinian Authority has already stated that with this London decided to push through the solution to the Palestinian issue in the spirit of the so-called. "Balfour Declaration".

Actually, the declaration itself, essentially a letter, from Lord A. Balfour contained the official position of the kingdom’s Foreign Ministry regarding the need to create a Jewish state (“national home”) in Palestine.

There was no more specificity in the letter, the historical context of the Declaration (1917) was more than complicated, but the fact remains that in the Arab world this letter is perceived as an act of the darkest meanness on the part of London and a violation of a number of obligations.

Comparing the ideas with which A. Blair came to the Middle East with this letter from A. Balfour, local politicians and commentators emphasize that the ideas of resettling refugees from the Gaza Strip are absolutely unacceptable.

But this is precisely the idea that B. Netanyahu is directly or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly pushing, and this can be understood - this is one of the last scenarios in which he could declare “victory.” Otherwise, he and his cabinet will face proceedings on a scale unseen in fifty years.

A. Blair participated, with varying degrees of effectiveness, in a variety of negotiating formats in the region, and served as a moderator and consultant. In 2017, The Daily Telegraph revealed that he and his office had repeatedly received multimillion-dollar fees from Arabian monarchies, particularly the UAE (without publicizing these transactions).

This is generally a common thing when British and American military consultants receive some kind of bonuses there. But in this case, it is clear that the nominee is not just a heavyweight in politics, but a person who has relatively complimentary, close and high connections. Why is that? The United States itself cannot discuss such ideas - its relations with the UAE and Saudi Arabia were in a frozen state even before October 7.

The United States is already directly telling B. Netanyahu about the need to end the active phase of hostilities; The Economist generally cited information that Washington was pressing for deadlines by the end of the year. In response, B. Netanyahu stated on December 30 that the operation would drag on for several more months.

Washington cannot officially insist on the completion of the operation, much less “ban” something. But problems in the Red Sea create a chain of strong economic pressure on Tel Aviv.

On the one hand, the United States is trying to push through negotiations in the region on terms that are generally beneficial to B. Netanyahu. These negotiations are being conducted not only with the Arabians, but also with Egypt, Jordan, another thing is that this is still more of an allied demonstration.

On the other hand, the degree of tension in trade communications is increasing, and economic pressure is also growing, which is much more reliable than politicians’ speeches in the press. By the way, both the Egyptian budget and Jordanian trade fall under economic pressure.

If at the same time it is possible to put a stone in the Iranian boot, as in the story with the UAV, allegedly “flying from Iran,” then Washington will not fail to take advantage of the opportunity and add a handful of chaos to the region.

But in general, it can now be seen that the combination of restricting shipping and protecting shipping is no longer playing out as a macroeconomic scenario, but as a foreign policy one with the final addressee in Tel Aviv. And this is evident, because within two months the oil market reacts to this with a relatively mild rise in price, but for trading in goods this is quite unpleasant, as well as for large investment funds.

For Washington, there are other possible tactical benefits from the escalation in the Red Sea - they may try to play on issues of military assistance to both Israel and Ukraine. In a certain scenario, one can even attribute the minimization of military assistance to Kyiv to the operation related to Yemen.

Such a play on many multidirectional interests at once in order to create pressure from various “objective factors” on a specific node is a fairly well-tested method for the United States. The problem with this method is that we have already repeatedly observed situations where the threads of a plan are simply lost after several iterations, and the plan breaks up into several independent combinations.

The United States made miscalculations of this kind in a more monolithic and controlled domestic political situation and with much greater foreign policy influence in the region. And here, of course, the United States should several times weigh the option of a possible, if not blockade, then monitoring of supplies to Hodeidah, since they and the British naval air defense will be repeatedly tested for strength.

Here, not only will the United States have to play on the brink of a foul, but also take into account the specifics of its closest partner - London, which always plays together, but always with its own interest and with private independent combinations. Many times this is simply done at the expense of the “big elephant”, that is, the United States itself. Well, the United States will have to constantly take into account the threat of shelling of its military bases in Syria, Iraq, and even directly in the Persian Gulf, but the British are spared from these circumstances.
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  1. 0
    5 January 2024 05: 38
    Maybe I'm wrong, but many interests collide in this region, these are the interests of oil magnates, the interests of politicians. They are of little interest in what is actually happening. Their goals are extremely simple.
  2. -2
    5 January 2024 07: 59
    Another attempt to put a good face on a bad game and attempts to somehow get at least some kind of media victory that can be loudly trumpeted in an attempt to hush up a big loss. Israel's indiscriminate actions greatly embittered the Muslim world against the West, which unconditionally rushed to help Israel on all fronts (more precisely, the United States and its subordinate vassals, because Israel is pursuing US policy in the Middle East and the United States cannot abandon it). To prolong the conflict, the Arabs might even come up with an embargo, but with a bunch of other problems in the United States this was still not enough
  3. 0
    5 January 2024 08: 45
    The election race has begun in the United States, that’s not why the United States poured billions into the oil and gas industry under Biden, becoming a “gas station” country, they are leaders in oil and gas production. They even managed to become a leader in LNG exports, ahead of Qatar and Australia (Is Biden a “green” president? This is the second question) They don’t need a cataclysm in Yemen. There are statistics of 11 presidents whose economy was not in recession before the elections, 11 presidents were re-elected for a second term. 100% result. So Biden can easily become President for the second time. Moreover Some Republicans are pulling Nick Haley's ears in opposition to Trump. It will definitely be fun. The Houthis may even give the opportunity to straighten out a couple of ships, putting pressure on Israel. Elections sir! Nothing personal. A little joke, China applauds the United States in its efforts for reasonable prices for oil and gas.
    1. 0
      5 January 2024 13: 00
      A small remark: a significant part of American LNG should be entered in the “re-export” column. hi
      1. 0
        5 January 2024 13: 32
        Today, an LNG tanker is being stolen from Houston in the Red Sea. The United States has stopped re-exporting with Novatek; Novatek no longer needs its services. Almost the entire fleet of Arc 7 class LNG tankers working with Novatek belongs to a consortium registered in Hong Kong, the company’s shareholders are from China and Japan. Try it. It’s the same with Qatar, the United States is now bringing the shallow Panama Canal to work on the Southeast Asian market.
        1. +1
          5 January 2024 13: 56
          With Novatek it will be interesting to see the final result. I'm betting that the sanctions won't work in the end.
          1. 0
            5 January 2024 14: 03
            I see for myself that the teams at the Saam and Koryak gas storage facilities have been recruited, and in the first quarter of 2024 the first liquefaction line "Arctic LNG 2" will be launched.
            1. +1
              5 January 2024 14: 28
              Me too. War is war, but lunch is on schedule
  4. +1
    5 January 2024 10: 08
    Why are our "scribblers" offered deportation of an entire people continue to stubbornly call "refugee resettlement"? ..
  5. +1
    5 January 2024 14: 03
    The Persians certainly have a noble pelvis wassat .

    It's a shame to go out in front of people like that. hi
    1. 0
      5 January 2024 15: 13
      They have a problem with aviation. I really don’t understand why our people are bartering with them to at least sell them a squadron of Su30s. They will upgrade the avionics themselves if necessary. By the way, they already make ships themselves, only in the format of a large corvette. And so we have large ships also from the last century
      1. 0
        5 January 2024 15: 53
        It is possible to transfer both them and North Korea the Yak-130 with guided air-to-surface anti-ship missiles.
        1. 0
          5 January 2024 16: 03
          It is possible, but the range is not enough. Fly through Iraq there, if that happens.
          1. 0
            5 January 2024 16: 08
            The Caspian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf - in the coastal zone they can strike.
            1. 0
              5 January 2024 16: 11
              You understand that their priority is Israel, and this is work in the air over Iraq. For Israel, the story with the f35 range is the same problem, by the way. And then, the yak will not take anti-ship missiles on board. They need a heavy truck there.
              1. 0
                5 January 2024 16: 28
                X-35 will take it. At least the weight seems to be suitable (about 500 kg).
                Regarding Israeli aircraft - in the case of Iran, it is necessary to saturate the air defense system.
                1. 0
                  5 January 2024 16: 29
                  This is not enough and the entire avionics will have to be redone.
                  1. 0
                    5 January 2024 16: 33
                    But such work is needed - the Yak-130 is a pretty decent aircraft with 3 tons of combat load.
                    Its Italian counterpart is used as an attack aircraft.
  6. The comment was deleted.
  7. 0
    6 January 2024 22: 40
    The Americans really want to stop the growing entropy in their economy, so they use any spells and “a good face on a bad game” and hellishly ostentatious confidence in what they are doing, no matter what they do.
    They could pin down each individual problem like a fly, but firstly there are many problems and their number is increasing, and secondly, these problems are often not clearly expressed - in fact, the amers themselves catch the return from the “proxy” technique they have so perfected. conflicts." Figuring out the location of these Houthis and burning out the bulk of their dangerous infrastructure and “decision-making centers” is not such a problem. Even image losses are not a problem in this case - most of the burghers will say “thank you!” to the amers! . The problem is that it takes time and focus of effort to finally clean out each such cache, and over time, the United States is now having a tight election year and Joe Biden is losing his eyes a lot even without this. And with focus, everything is also not great - the guys are unfocused, they are already forced to look at BV and Taiwan and our North Military District with three eyes. Here the DPRK is playing pranks and in Iraq there is something murky again and there is a problem with migrants on their continent - no eyes will be enough. And the allies are now pretty exhausted by the kipish, one more is too much for them.

    So we are left to rely on the power of fear, which works worse and worse throughout the world and for everyone every year. Somehow all this reminds me of the apogee of the interbellum, I’m not specifically talking about the Red Sea - I’m rather talking about the chain of events of the year since 2018. It’s growing, sir..

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