Inside Story

Is the Red Sea becoming fully militarised?

Some major world powers are increasing their military presence in the region amid Houthi attacks and Israel’s war on Gaza.

The Red Sea is one of the busiest shipping routes in the world and one that’s been a source of contention for some time.

Houthi fighters in Yemen have been targeting vessels that they say are linked to Israel since the war on Gaza began. They have also recently banned ships from the United States and the United Kingdom from their surrounding waters.

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Vessels being re-routed have caused considerable delays and come at a high cost.

Major powers like the US, the UK and China and found themselves pulled into the crisis.

The US and UK have launched several air raids against Houthi targets in Yemen – in an effort to stop the attacks on ships. They are also launching a multinational force to protect trade – which the EU is now joining.

So, what’s the impact of the region’s growing militarisation?

Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoom


Betul Dogan-Akkas – Researcher at Ankara University who examines Gulf foreign policy, security strategies and political culture

Stavros Karamperidis – Head of the Maritime Transport Research Group at the University of Plymouth

Farea Al-Muslimi – Research fellow with the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House

Published On 23 Feb 202423 Feb 2024