Escalating tensions: US-Iran standoff over Houthi attacks

The Iranian-backed Houthis seem to be increasing their influence by continuing their attacks on ships in the Red Sea. Despite airstrikes by the US and allies like the UK, the attacks have not stopped. The range of attacks has expanded, and more ships are being threatened.

Last week, Iran, Russia, and China started a joint naval exercise. This collaboration could impact the Houthis as Iran supports them and has not targeted Iranian or Chinese vessels. This showcases a global shift where Iran, Russia, and China are working together to counter US influence.

On March 16, the US Central Command reported that Iranian-backed Houthis launched two UAVs towards the Red Sea but one was destroyed, and the other likely crashed. Subsequent attacks on unmanned surface vessels were also thwarted to ensure the safety of ships in the region.

New reports suggest that Iran engaged in secret talks with the US to address the Houthi attacks. Iran may seek a ceasefire in Gaza in exchange for reducing Houthi aggression, benefiting both Iran and the Houthis.

Reports also indicate that the Houthis have connections with Palestinian terrorist groups, emphasizing their regional ambitions. Efforts to stop arms smuggling to Yemen, which fuels the conflict, are crucial. Iran’s involvement in smuggling weapons to Hezbollah through European ports is part of a broader naval strategy aligned with supporting the Houthis.