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Cape and Indian Ocean now in Houthi operational range

The extent of the failure of the allied powers to degrade the Houthi Military capabilities may come into sharp focus if the Yemeni movement makes good on its threat to expand its sphere of operations from the Indian Ocean down to the African Cape.

Over the last 24 hours US Central Command, CENTCOM, reported that the US Navy had destroyed four anti-ship ballistic missiles, two fired towards the Red Sea and another two into the Gulf of Aden. In addition, another nine anti-ship missiles and two drones were also dealt with. These attacks come in a week when the Houthis have significantly increased the intensity of their operations.

CENTCOM said on its X channel its actions “are taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for US Navy and merchant vessels.”

The official spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces Commander Abdulmalik Badr al-Din al-Houthi announced on the Houthi’s Telegram channel that the group intends to spread its sphere of operations across a region that covers thousands of square miles.

The commander said, “Our serious approach is to continue to effectively expand the scope of our operations to reach areas and locations that the enemy never expected.”

He added, “We are moving to prevent the passage of ships associated with the Israeli enemy, across the Indian Ocean and from South Africa towards the Good Hope Road [Cape of Good Hope].”

Preparations to broaden the scope of operations are already underway said the Houthis.

Asked whether it was time to negotiate a settlement with the Houthi movement given the failure of armed conflict to end the attacks on commercial vessels, Corey Ranslem CEO of security firm Dryad Global said it was not clear that such a move would be possible.

“I don’t know if there is the ability to negotiate a settlement with the Houthis. They started this campaign because of the war between Hamas and Israel. I don’t know if a true settlement can be negotiated until there is a settlement with the war,” noted Ranslem.

He added, “We are still recommending that our clients avoid this region as the risk is too high to crew, cargo and vessels.”

Mary Ann Evans
Correspondent at Large

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