UN Security Council Calls for Immediate Ceasefire of Houthi Attacks in the Red Sea

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield emphasized that the global challenge to navigational rights and freedoms in the Red Sea demands a collective global response.

On Wednesday, the UN Security Council issued a demand for Yemen’s Houthis to cease attacks on ships in the Red Sea immediately. The resolution also cautioned against escalating tensions and implicitly supported a US-led task force responsible for defending vessels.

The Security Council’s resolution, endorsed by eleven members, urged the release of the Galaxy Leader, a Japanese-operated vehicle carrier linked to an Israeli businessman, along with its 25-person crew. The measure called on the Houthis to “immediately cease all attacks, which impede global commerce and navigational rights and freedoms as well as regional peace.”

Four members, including Russia and China with veto power, chose to abstain, while none voted against.

The Resolution Implies An Endorsement Of Operation Prosperity Guardian.

A crucial element of the resolution, put forth by the US and Japan, highlights the acknowledgment of the right of UN member states, as per international law, to protect their vessels from attacks, particularly those jeopardizing navigational rights and freedoms.

The inclusion of this provision essentially signifies a tacit approval of Operation Prosperity Guardian. This multinational naval task force, led by the US, has been safeguarding commercial vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden from missile and drone attacks by the Houthis.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield emphasized the global nature of the challenge to navigational rights and freedoms in the Red Sea, asserting the need for a comprehensive global response while urging the council to endorse the resolution.

The Houthis, an Iran-aligned group that gained control over much of Yemen in a civil war, have pledged to target ships associated with Israel or heading to Israeli ports in solidarity with Hamas. However, several of the targeted vessels have no connections to Israel.

The US alleges that Iran provides crucial support for Houthi attacks, including advanced missiles and drones, violating UN Security Council resolutions. Tehran denies these accusations.

The Houthi spokesperson, Mohammed Abdul Salam, dismissed the UN resolution as a “political game,” asserting that the US is the one violating international law.

The council’s vote followed the rejection of amendments proposed by Russia. These amendments aimed to remove the implicit endorsement of the US-led task force and include the Gaza conflict among the “root causes” of Houthi strikes.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia questioned the legitimacy of the task force, asserting that the resolution, as drafted, amounts to an “open-ended blessing” of it.

Houthi attacks have disrupted maritime commerce, leading some shipping lines to redirect vessels from the Red Sea to longer routes, potentially impacting energy and food prices.

In the most recent attacks, US and British warships reportedly intercepted 21 drones and missiles fired by the Houthis on Tuesday, marking the largest such attack in the southern Red Sea, according to London.

US Central Command reported a total of 26 Houthi strikes on shipping since the seizure of the Galaxy Leader.

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