The repeated air strikes by the US and UK against the Houthis in Yemen have so far failed to deter attacks on ships in the region. Despite the strikes, there have been more attacks on ships in recent weeks than before.
The Houthis seem to have found a way to beat the mighty Western armies with the successful strikes that have disrupted the shipping lanes in the Read Sea. In a sense, it is one of the greatest successes in sea-bound warfare since World War 2 and the Falkland Islands War.
The tactics of the Houthis have changed, targeting ships with ties to the US and UK instead of Israel. But that is not why they are successful. It is the military tactics used.
The attacks have led to a decline in shipping through the Red Sea, impacting global trade routes and causing increased costs for shipping.
Ship operators are taking measures to mitigate risks, including hiring armed security teams and disabling tracking systems.
Initially, the Houthis claimed they targeted ships linked to Israel, but since January airstrikes, they've focused on vessels associated with UK or US owners.
Among 28 attacked ships, only seven had Israeli connections confirmed through vessel tracking and official records. Despite challenges in identifying ownership due to complex company structures, recent attacks mainly targeted US or UK-affiliated ships.
Additionally, their tactics shifted from concentrated attacks near Yemen's Bab al-Mandab Strait to the Gulf of Aden. Initially using missiles and drones, recent attacks primarily utilize missiles launched from Yemen.