Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.


December 30, 2023 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


Recent attacks by Yemen-based Houthi rebels have raised alarming concerns as they pose a significant threat to merchant ships navigating the waters of the Red Sea.

Importance of Shipping Trade:

  • Global Economic Backbone: Shipping is the most cost-effective and efficient mode for transporting goods globally, serving as the cornerstone of the world economy.
  • Strategic Warfare: Throughout history, disrupting seaborne commerce has been a favored strategy in warfare, impacting the security and prosperity of nations.


Vulnerability of Indian Ocean Shipping:

  • Choke Points: The Indian Ocean contains narrow passages, known as choke points, such as the Malacca Strait, Hormuz Strait, and Bab al Mandab Strait, where shipping traffic is concentrated, making it susceptible to interventions by states, pirates, and terrorists.
  • Houthi Threat: The Red Sea, particularly at the Bab al Mandab Strait, has witnessed missile and drone attacks by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, posing a significant menace to US Navy units and merchant shipping.

Possible Reasons for Attacks:

  • Proxy War Dynamics: The conflict between Yemen and the Houthi rebels is viewed as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the involvement of global powers and organizations.
  • Ideological Objectives: The Houthi rebels claim their attacks aim to pressure Israel into ending its bombardment of Gaza, specifically targeting ships with perceived links to Israel.

Global Response:

  • US Operation: The US initiated “Operation Prosperity Guardian” to safeguard Red Sea shipping, primarily in support of Israel. However, this move is perceived as provocative against Iran and lacks broad NATO support from countries like France, Italy, and Spain.
  • Indian Involvement: India, showcasing its maritime prowess, deployed warships in the region as a display of naval presence.

Challenges for Indian Navy:

  • Jurisdictional Constraints: Jurisdictional issues dictate that the state under which a ship is registered holds the primary responsibility for security. Boarding a merchant vessel requires consent from the flag state, posing challenges for interventions.
  • Drone Warfare: The evolving threat of drone attacks presents challenges for navies. Detecting low-flying drones is challenging, and countering them requires sophisticated measures, including jamming radio signals or kinetic systems.


As the Indian Navy faces the challenges of jurisdictional complexities and drone warfare, the article emphasizes the need for India to leverage its diplomatic ties with Iran and Israel to promote moderation and restore peace in the Indian Ocean. The strategic significance of the region demands a multifaceted approach to address evolving threats and ensure maritime stability.


December 30, 2023
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: