The brazen attack on the Marlin Luanda, a fuel tanker operated by the trading giant Trafigura Group, in the Gulf of Aden, show the increasing audacity of the Houthi rebels. This incident, one of the most significant yet, has not only imperiled global shipping routes but also has serious ramifications for international oil transportation. The response from the vessel’s managing company underscores the severity of the situation: “Firefighting equipment on board is being deployed to suppress and control the fire caused in one cargo tank on the starboard side,” a Trafigura spokesperson stated. The ramifications of such an attack are far-reaching, impacting not just the immediate region but the global economy at large.
What comes to the forefront is the connectivity and control of China over Iran, which is connected to and has control over the Houthis, Hamas, Hezbollah and many other Islamic terrorists in the world. We will be so bold as to say that without China’s permission, the Houthis in Yemen and Hamas in Gaza would not be attacking allies of the United States. These connections have been known the ACZ sources for a long time, but now they seem to have surfaced in mainstream media. But we have yet to see the appropriate outrage from the Biden Administration.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has engaged with Chinese officials, including Beijing’s top foreign-policy official, Wang Yi, to address the issue. The U.S. has accused Iran of supplying the Houthis with weapons, funding, and other support. Administration officials have asked Beijing to convey messages to Iran about avoiding a broader conflict in the region.
The Houthis, for their part, have framed their aggression as a retaliatory response to the broader conflict in Gaza, demanding an end to the fighting and the provision of humanitarian aid. Yahya Saree, a Houthi spokesman, chillingly confirmed the group’s resolve: “The group had fired on the Marlin Luanda ‘in support of the injustice against the Palestinian people and as a response to the American-British aggression on our country’.” This narrative underscores the reach of Iran and its desire to spread chaos through the region, undoubtedly sowing exactly the violence China needs to further its agenda – likely a distraction from the Russia-Ukraine war.
The Biden administration faces a daunting challenge. On the one hand, there is an urgent need to safeguard international shipping and uphold regional stability. On the other hand, they must work at the source – Iran and China – to avoid their instigation of a broader conflict in an already tense region. The U.S. response has been a series of targeted military strikes against Houthi positions in Yemen, yet these efforts have been met with defiance from the rebels, who continue their relentless attacks and are likely being well supplied from their sponsors.
The situation in Yemen, with the Houthi rebels’ escalating aggression and the involvement of major powers like China and Iran, presents multiple layers success that must be achieved by a less than competent Biden Administration.