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Shell suspends shipping through Red Sea, report says

Shell is understood to have joined other companies in halting shipping through the Red Sea (Alamy/PA)
Shell is understood to have joined other companies in halting shipping through the Red Sea (Alamy/PA)

Oil giant Shell decided to suspend all its shipments through the Red Sea last week after ships passing through the area were repeatedly targeted by Houthi attacks, according to a report.

The Wall Street Journal said Shell declined to confirm that it would no longer be sending ships transporting fossil fuels past the west Yemini coast where missiles have been hitting the vital shipping route.

Sources told the paper that the decision was taken after the US and UK launched counter attacks on Houthi targets in response to the group’s actions.

The Houthis have been at war with the Yemeni government since 2014 when the country’s civil war started.

The Iran-backed group initially won victories against the government, but a coalition led by Saudi Arabia later intervened and hit the group with air strikes.

The Houthis have said that their attacks on shipping, by missiles, helicopters and boats, is in retaliation for the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

The attacks have made the crossing through the Bab al-Mandab Strait, a less than 20-mile stretch of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Africa which connects the Red Sea with the rest of the Indian Ocean.

Most shipping that passes through the Suez Canal also has to pass by the strait.

Shell’s decision follows several other companies avoiding the shipping route. Both Shell’s rival BP and Qatar Energy have said that they will pause shipments through the Red Sea.