July 18, 2024

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Maersk to resume Red Sea shipping under US-led naval coalition

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The operator of the world’s second-largest container ship fleet will resume sending tankers through the Red Sea after a US-led coalition began providing naval security against attacks by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Denmark’s AP Møller-Maersk said on Sunday that it would stop rerouting vessels around southern Africa, a long and costly route, and would proceed through the Suez Canal after the coalition, Operation Prosperity Guardian, was launched.

The multinational operation, unveiled by the US last week, will strengthen a naval task force in the Red Sea to ensure safe passage for commercial vessels through one of the most important global trade arteries, where they have come under drone and missile attacks from the Houthis, a Yemen-based militia group.

The Houthis have launched a string of attacks on ships in recent weeks, which the rebels have said were a response to Israel’s war against Hamas, the Palestinian group that is also backed by Iran, resulting in the biggest reshaping of global trade since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year

“With the Operation Prosperity Guardian initiative in operation, we are preparing to allow for vessels to resume transit through the Red Sea both eastbound and westbound,” Maersk said in a statement on Sunday.

The company added that it was working on plans for the first transits to resume “as soon as operationally possible”, but warned that it could reverse the decision, depending on the risks.

On Saturday, a tanker operating about 200 nautical miles from the coast of India was attacked by a drone, the first incident targeting a vessel far beyond the Red Sea. According to the Pentagon, the drone originated from Iran, also a first since the start of the spate of Houthi attacks.

Israeli strikes late on Sunday killed dozens of Palestinians in hte Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza © Shadi Tabatibi/Reuters

In Gaza, Palestinian officials tallied at least 78 people killed by Israeli shelling on Sunday night,…



2023-12-25 06:00:13

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