How UK & US have massed Red Sea fleet ready to blitz Iran-backed rebels in storm of 600 missiles

How UK & US have massed Red Sea fleet ready to blitz Iran-backed rebels in storm of 600 missiles

AMID the rising tensions in the Middle East, British and US warships have ramped up to blitz Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.

The Iran-backed terror group have been creating havoc in the region since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war.

SWNSRoyal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond alongside USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier in the Red Sea[/caption]

HMS Diamond responded to the ‘complex attack’ on international shipping lanes in the Red SeaPA

ReutersThe moment HMS Diamond shot down seven of the 18 drones launched by the Houthi rebels[/caption]

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.The Iran-backed Houthi rebels have attacked dozens of vessels in the region[/caption]

On January 9, the Houthis launched its biggest attack in the region so far, targeting cargo ships passing through the narrowest and most perilous stretch of the Red Sea – the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

The US Central Command said the “complex attack” included bomb-carrying drones, anti-ship cruise missiles and one anti-ship ballistic missile.

Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond along with other American warships launched a coordinated strike to counter the Iranian proxy.

According to the US CENTCOM, two cruise missiles and the anti-ship missile were downed by F-18s from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, American Arleigh Burke-class destroyers the USS Gravely, the USS Laboon and the USS Mason, as well as the UK’s HMS Diamond.

HMS Diamond blasted seven of the 18 drones out of the sky.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said it was the biggest attack from the Iranian-backed Houthis in the Red Sea to date.

He believes HMS Diamond was “deliberately targeted” by the rebels.

And now Britain is on the verge of launching attacks on Yemen bases.

The Houthis continue missile and drone strikes in the narrow passage of the Red Sea in sympathy with the Palestinian people until Israel stops pounding Gaza.

Ships attempting to navigate the 20-mile-wide gap are forced to sail dangerously close to the coast of Yemen, where increasingly emboldened Houthi rebels are waiting to strike.

The Strait forms the strategic link between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

Roughly 10 per cent of all global trade passes through it.


In December 2023, the US launched a multinational joint-military coalition called Operation Prosperity Guardian to respond to the threats posed by the Houthis in the Red Sea.

The US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin announced the international maritime security force will aim to end the rebel blockade – and counter the threats of the Houthis against the international trade passing through the passage.

So far, the US has deployed its Carrier Strike Group 2 in the Red Sea area which includes the flagship aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower – and its escorting Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, USS Gravely, USS Laboon and USS Mason.

Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond joined the US-led coalition to ramp up the counter-offensive against the Houthis.

Speaking about the capabilities of the British warship and its ability to assist in these situations, retired Rear-Admiral Chris Parry told The Sun: “It has a very sophisticated radar detection system.

“It’s got a main radar that can detect all sorts of contacts, hundreds of them out to about 400 kilometres, and it’s got a very sophisticated fire control system.

“It can also use its falcon phalanx gatling gun which can fire up to 600 rounds a minute.

“If any of the targets come close to it, it’s also got a range of high volume small calibre weapons as well.

“It’s probably one of the best anti-air platforms in the world alongside the United States aegis destroyers, 3 of which are on station within the southern Red Sea.”

Just a few days ago, Britain deployed HMS Richmond to the area as the Houthi rebel attacks threaten to ignite an all-out war

The move is set to bolster the Royal Navy’s presence in the region as the Iran-backed militia refuses to stand down.

The Type 23 frigate set sail from Plymouth on Friday armed with 32 Sea Captor missiles and a Wildcat helicopter.

HMS Richmond will join the destroyer HMS Diamond, frigate HMS Lancaster, a squadron of three mine-hunting vessels HMS Bangor, HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Middleton and the support ship RFA Cardigan Bay.

Alongside the UK and the US, India and Israel have also sent their warships to counter the Iranian proxy.

The Indian Navy has deployed guided missile destroyers to the Arabian Sea, according to the Ministry of Defence.

INS Kochi and INS Kolkata are now conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden, which strategically links the Arabian Sea with the Red Sea.

Earlier this month, 14 countries issued a joint statement condemning the Houthis for “threatening lives and the global economy”.

“The Houthis will bear the responsibility for the consequences should they continue to threaten lives, the global economy, or the free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways,” it said.


The Red Sea forms the gateway to the world as it provides the only route for ships travelling between Asia and Europe without having to sail around southern Africa.

It can save up to 30 days at sea – but those who cross must pass through the “Gate of Tears”, which got its name from the lethal nature of navigating through the tight strait.

The Strait forms the strategic link between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

Roughly 10 per cent of all global trade passes through the treacherous route each year and about 17,000 ships, making it one of the world’s most important trade routes for oil and fuel shipments.

It is thought that up to 50 huge merchant ships pass through the strait every day and First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key said: “One-sixth of the world’s commercial shipping passes through the Bab-el-Mandeb and Red Sea.”

An estimated £2.4trillion worth of world trade is at risk amid the ongoing situation in the Red Sea.

 Oil giant BP paused all of its shipments through the Red Sea fearing attacks from Yemen’s rebels.

It said the decision was caused by a “deteriorating security situation” in the Middle East as fears grow the move will send prices soaring.

BP said: “The safety and security of our people and those working on our behalf is BP’s priority.

“In light of the deteriorating security situation for shipping in the Red Sea, BP has decided to temporarily pause all transits through the Red Sea.

“We will keep this precautionary pause under ongoing review, subject to circumstances as they evolve in the region.”

The world could see oil price hike due to concerns that the global oil supply chain could be severely disrupted if the attacks continue.

Several other freight companies have been suspending their operations after being targeted by the terror group who have turned the area into an active warzone.

Oil giant BP stopped all its shipments through the Red Sea fearing a Houthi attack

Houthis attacked Galaxy Leader cargo ship last month

The moment Houthi rebels hijacked the cargo vessel

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