BRITISH oil giant Shell has halted its Red Sea shipments after US-UK strikes in the Yemen against the Houthis.
The UK-based energy giant Shell has suspended all shipments through the Red Sea indefinitely, amid heightened tensions over Washington’s unrelenting support for the Israeli genocidal war against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Wael Sawan, the chief executive of Shell, said yesterday that the company had a dedicated team monitoring the shipping route, on a ‘minute by minute basis’ after the US and the UK carried out counter strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen.
Charles Nunn, the chief executive of Lloyds Bank, yesterday issued a warning that the conflict was a direct threat to the UK economy.
Nunn told Bloomberg TV: ‘The challenge is the uncertainty geopolitically, which would come back on the UK more in second order consequences through energy prices, or the supply chain costs increasing, and so we are watching very carefully as to what is going on in the Middle East, and in the Ukraine.’
The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the decision, reported on Tuesday that Shell decided to suspend transit over fears of renewed escalating tensions involving Yemen’s armed forces and US-led Western countries, Israel’s main backers.
Shipping giant Maersk earlier this month also noted it would divert vessels around Africa instead of using the Red Sea and Suez Canal for the foreseeable future. Israeli shipping companies have already decided to reroute their vessels in fear of attacks by Yemeni forces.
A senior official of Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement has warned that the American and British naval fleet will be a ‘legitimate’ target for the country.
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement on Monday that the US-owned and operated dry bulk ship, Gibraltar Eagle, had been struck with an anti-ship ballistic missile. US forces also claimed to shoot down a Yemeni cruise missile targeting an American destroyer a day earlier.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s prime minister said that liquefied natural gas shipments would be affected by tensions in the area, warning that strikes on Yemen risk worsening the crisis.
About 12 percent of global trade normally passes through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, the Red Sea’s entrance between southwest Yemen and Djibouti. But anti-Israeli attacks by Yemeni forces have caused much shipping to be diverted thousands of kilometres around Africa.
Since the start of the Israeli military aggression on Gaza in early October 2023, the United States and its Western allies have been providing financial and logistical support to the occupying regime in its ceaseless bombardment campaign against Palestinians in the besieged territory.
As part of their support for Palestinians, Yemen’s armed forces and popular Ansarullah resistance movement have over the past month targeted several ships owned by Israel or bound for ports in the occupied territories in the strategic Red Sea after multiple warnings.
Iran, Russia, Turkey and several other countries have sharply criticised the United States, the United Kingdom, and their allies for their recent acts of aggression against Yemen, saying these countries bear full responsibility for the violation of international law.
Yemenis have declared their open support for Palestine’s struggle against the Israeli occupation since the regime launched a devastating war on Gaza on October 7.
Meanwhile, Gita Gobinath, deputy managing director of the IMF condemned rampant money printing schemes such as those deployed by the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve and issued a warning.
Her verdict was that ‘governments were now seen as the insurer of first resort by businesses and households’ leaving them open to a massive crash.
In fact the only way out of this developing capitalist crisis and crash is to expropriate the bankers and bosses, and bring in socialist planned and organised nationalised economies, capable of satisfying all of the needs of working people. This is a lesson that is now being learnt world-wide as capitalism heads for a massive crash!