18 Jan 2024

US-led strikes continue in the Red Sea

From Morning Report, 7:14 am on 18 January 2024

Missiles and air strikes continue to fly in the Red Sea between Houthi rebels and the US-led coalition seeking to take them down.

The Houthis, a political and military movement that control much of Yemen, have been attacking vessels in the Red Sea since November, and today was put back on a global list of terrorist groups by US President Joe Biden.

Containers are piled up in Lisbon, Portugal, on January 13, 2024. Recent U.S. and UK air strikes on Yemen are causing global shipping rates to spike, sparking fears of extended disruptions in the Red Sea, a crucial trade route. The strikes are a response to attacks on the Red Sea, adding complexity to the regional conflict originating from Israel's Gaza war. (Photo by Luis Boza/NurPhoto) (Photo by Luis Boza / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP)

Photo: Luis Boza / NurPhoto via AFP

The group, which is supported by Iran, says it will continue the attacks until Israel ceases its military activity in Gaza.

Last week, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters expressed New Zealand's support for US and UK strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, in a bid to ward off the Red Sea attacks. They say the supply chain disruptions caused by the conflict near the Suez Canal will hit New Zealanders in the pocket and 'threaten [our] national security.'

Otago University International Relations professor Robert Patman spoke to Charlotte Cook.