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Houthis ban US, UK ships from entering Red, Arabian Seas — agency

The ban also applies to ships registered in or linked with Israel

LONDON, February 22. /TASS/. The Yemeni rebel movement Ansar Allah (the Houthis) has put a number of shipping and insurance companies on notice that US and UK vessels will not be allowed to sail across the Red and Arabian Seas, Reuters reported.

According to the news agency, the Houthi-formed Humanitarian Operations Center has issued notifications to shipping and insurance companies warning them that US-and UK-flagged ships or ships owned by US and UK individuals or legal entities are banned from entering the Red and Arabian Seas, as well as the Gulf of Aden. The ban also applies to ships registered in or linked with Israel.

Following the escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis warned that they would launch strikes on Israeli territory while barring ships associated with the Jewish state from passing through the waters of the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait until Tel Aviv ceased its military operation against Palestinian radical group Hamas in the embattled enclave. Since mid-November, dozens of civilian ships have been attacked by the Houthis in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

In response to Ansar Allah's actions, the US authorities announced the creation of an international coalition and preparations for an operation codenamed Prosperity Guardian, expected to ensure freedom of navigation and protection of ships in the Red Sea.