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As Biden Remains Passive Amid Houthi Attacks, Two Major Shipping Lines Pause Their Routes Through Red Sea

  As the Biden administration has avoided confronting Islamic Houthis in Yemen aligned with Iran who are impeding navigation in the Middle E...

 As the Biden administration has avoided confronting Islamic Houthis in Yemen aligned with Iran who are impeding navigation in the Middle East, two of the world’s largest container shipping lines —both of which have had ships attacked by the Islamist group —announced on Friday they have paused transits through the Red Sea.

Maersk, whose ship Gibraltar was attacked on Thursday, stated they would instruct ships passing through the Bab al-Mandab Strait, which connects the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea, to pause their journeys “until further notice.”

Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd AG announced they would pause their ships’ journeys until Monday, “then will decide for the period after.”

Maersk is the second largest container shipping company by volume, according to the Financial Times, while Hapag-Lloyd is the fifth largest, according to Marine Insight.

“The moves will pile pressure on the US and its allies to improve security along one of the world’s most important trade corridors to avoid undermining the global economic recovery,” Bloomberg News opined.

On Friday, two Liberian-flagged ships in the Bab al-Mandab Strait were attacked from Houthi-controlled Yemen. A ship owned by Hapag-Lloyd called Al-Jasrah was hit.

“While the Houthis are pulling the trigger, so to speak, they’re being handed the gun by Iran,” U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stated.


“It’s an international problem. It’s going to take an international solution, and we’re working with allies and partners on that,” Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks stated Wednesday.

Iran’s Defense Minister Mohammed-Reza Ashtiani said the U.S. “will face tremendous problems” if they move forward with a plan to protect ships, adding, “No one can maneuver in a region that we dominate.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told President Joe Biden that if the U.S. does not take action against the Yemen-based Houthi terrorists, Israel will, as the Houthis have targeted shipping vessels with ties to Israel.

Numerous U.S. defense officials told POLITICO that Biden’s approach to dealing with the situation was problematic because by trying to avoid escalation, the opposite is happening.

“Near to immediate term, where are the strikes on [Houthi] targets?” said Marc Polymeropoulos, former CIA official, on social media. “Need to see this ASAP.”

Retired Vice Adm. John Miller, the former commander of U.S. 5th Fleet, told POLITICO that the U.S. was “not taking this seriously” because these attacks “have gone largely unanswered.”

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