Since the start of the Israel-Gaza conflict, the Iranian-backed Houthi militia has escalated attacks on vessels passing through the Red Sea, targeting those that they believe are Israel-bound and threatening global maritime trade. Red Sea shipping lanes are critical for the global economy. Around 12% of global trade passes through the strait every year to transit the Suez Canal. Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG) is a US-led task force aimed at protecting shipping routes against the Houthis. However, it is facing challenges with reluctant allies Joining OPG over fears of expanding the Israel-Hamas war. The delicate situation in the region is making it difficult for the US government to garner the support it needs to counter attacks by the Houthis.
Key Judgement 1. In the next 3 months, it is likely that the US will struggle to sustain a significant deployment to the Red Sea due to the lack of public support for allies.
Key Judgement 2. In the next 3 months, the Houthis will very likely attack more vessels in Red Sea shipping lanes.
Key Judgement 3. In the next 3 months, it is likely that the Houthi militias will retain support in occupied areas of Yemen for their actions against Israel.