The Iran-backed Houthis attacked a commercial ship on Monday evening around 15 miles off the coast of Yemen’s Mocha port near the Bab el-Mandeb straits, according to US Central Command. The missile attack damaged the commercial ship Strinda, a tanker ship, and the USS Mason responded. The French warship Languedoc recently downed drones launched from Yemen, and the tanker Strinda was targeted with a naval missile. The Houthis are trying to blockade Israel by attacking ships entering the Red Sea, in an attempt to increase threats against Israel and not leave the border area. Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign minister was in Doha and spoke with the Russian foreign minister to discuss a “conspiracy” by the US and France to push Hezbollah away from Israel’s northern border.
In northern Israel, Hezbollah threats have increased with sirens sounding in Maalot and Acre. Israel’s Chief of Staff visited the northern border over the weekend, and IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said there were exchanges of fire in the north, with the IDF responding by firing at terror targets in Lebanon. The attacks in the Red Sea and the escalation by Houthis may not be directly coordinated by Iran, but clearly indicate an escalation in various arenas. The incidents aim to connect these arenas to create threats against Israel on multiple fronts.