Crude oil prices jump over Houthi attackOil prices jump

Virendra Singh Rawat

The global crude oil prices are showing an upward movement following persistent attack by the Houthi rebels on container ships ferrying in the Red Sea.

Crude oil booked its biggest gain following the latest Houthi attack on a container vessel owned by MSC and bound for Pakistan, traveling from Saudi Arabia.

Brent topped $80 per barrel, hitting $81 on Tuesday, while WTI (West Texas Intermediate) remained around $75 per barrel.

The attack occurred despite the presence of US and UK forces in the region, after the US announced Operation Prosperity Guardian last week.

The Houthis are an armed group from a sub-sect of Yemen’s Shia Muslim minority, the Zaidis. They take their name from the movement’s founder, Hussein al Houthi.

The group was formed in the 1990s over alleged corruption of the then-president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

President Saleh, backed by Saudi Arabia’s military, tried to eliminate the Houthi rebels in 2003, but the Houthis repelled them both.

The attacks are by the Houthis – an Iran-backed rebel group which controls a large part of Yemen.

The recent attacks began after the start of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7. The Houthis declared their support for Hamas warning to target any ship travelling to Israel.

Last month, they seized what they said was an Israeli cargo ship. Ever since, they have attacked several commercial vessels with drones and ballistic missiles.

In retaliation, the US launched an international naval operation to protect ships. Countries including the UK, Canada, France, Bahrain, Norway and Spain have joined.

Major shipping firms including Mediterranean Shipping Company, Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and the oil company BP have all said they are diverting vessels away from the Red Sea.

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The US has accused Iran of being “deeply involved” in planning operations against commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

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