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    Analysis: First Fatal Attack on Shipping by Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Escalates Risk for Reeling Mideast

    Analysis: First Fatal Attack on Shipping by Yemen's Houthi Rebels Escalates Risk for Reeling Mideast

    , United Arab Emirates — The first fatal attack by 's Houthi rebels on shipping threatens to further sever a crucial maritime artery for global trade and carries with it risks beyond those just at sea.

    Already, the White House is warning that there will be a response to Wednesday's attack on the Barbados-flagged, Liberian-owned bulk carrier True Confidence in the Gulf of Aden. What that will look like remains unclear, but the U.S. has already launched round after round of airstrikes targeting the Houthis, a rebel group that has held Yemen's capital since 2014, and more are likely on the way.

    However, a wider economic, humanitarian and political impact is looming from the attack. It also further highlights Yemen's yearslong war, now overshadowed by 's grinding war on Hamas on the Strip that may reach into the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, raising the danger of worsening regional anger.

    High-seas crisis widens

    Since the onset of the Houthi attacks, the rebels have framed them as a way to pressure Israel to stop the war, which has killed over 30,700 Palestinians, according to Gaza's Health Ministry. The war began Oct. 7 with a Hamas attack in Israel that killed about 1,200 people and took 250 others hostage.

    But as shippers began avoiding the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, the rebels began attacking ships with tenuous — or no — ties to Israel or the war. Meanwhile, U.S. and coalition warships have shot…

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