Concerns rising of broadened Middle East war

Washington, Dec 27 (IANS): Escalating attacks on US troops and commercial shipping and incidents often involving Iran and its proxies are causing new concerns that Israel’s war in Gaza could widen into a regional conflagration with grave political and economic consequences, a media report said.

With American service personnel increasingly in a dangerous firing line and with the US and allied naval assets on high alert after multiple drone attacks, the deteriorating situation is leading to a tense holiday period for the White House, CNN reported.

The rising possibility of US combat deaths and the worsening security situation from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea and stretching through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Israel represents an unwelcome new foreign crisis as President Joe Biden’s reelection year dawns, CNN reported.

A broadened conflict could have painful economic consequences given the Red Sea’s critical importance to global supply chain routes for energy and goods.

Given the threat to their vessels and crews from drones and missiles, several shipping firms have ordered their captains to take the more expensive and time-consuming route around Africa.

The potential economic disruption has prompted the US to frame an international coalition to protect merchant ships from Houthi attacks. The US said before Christmas that nations, including the UK, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and the Seychelles, had signed up, CNN reported.

Houthis have launched at least 100 attacks against 12 different commercial and merchant vessels in the Red Sea over the last month, in a “very significant breadth of attacks” not seen in at least “two generations", a senior US military official had said last week.



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Title: Concerns rising of broadened Middle East war

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