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Icon representing Maritime Information Warfare Conference 2019 -London -November 18-19
Maritime Information Warfare Conference 2019 -London -November 18-19

November 18th 2019
Icon representing CYPnaval Conference - October 2nd - Cyprus
CYPnaval Conference - October 2nd - Cyprus

October 2nd 2019
Icon representing CSOA First Response Report: Iran Seizes British Tanker
CSOA First Response Report: Iran Seizes British Tanker

July 20th 2019

Red Sea Warning Issued

February 7th 2017
Following the attack against a Saudi warship 30nm off the coast of Yemen in the Red Sea, UKMTO alerted the industry to US Maritime Alert 2017-002A, which was issued on February 1st.

The Alert states that Masters should consider increasing vigilance, maintain the farthest possible distance from the Yemen coast, transit the Bab el Mandeb strait during daylight hours and use the western TSS. UKMTO will provide further updates as appropriate.

This guidance falls roughly in line with that provided by several PMSCs who regularly transit the region, and we have added their reports to our Regional Intelligence Groups on csoalliance.com.

In late 2016, there was one confirmed report of an attack against a merchant ship and it appears that the ongoing conflict in Yemen means that a; Houthi-Saleh rebels will continue to target vessels they believe are involved in the Saudi coalition. Clearly, during the hours of daylight, the rebels can easily identify merchant and military traffic. However, there is a risk that merchant ships could be targeted in error during the hours of darkness. With that in mind, strict adherence to the Alert along with increased watches and contact with the Saudi coalition naval forces while transiting the Red Sea is something we would recommend.

The new administration in the US has recently raised tensions with Iran, which could well spillover into the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. We anticipate that elements of the Iranian Republican Guard Navy may attempt to ‘push’ US Naval forces in the region, as they have done in the past. However, what remains to be seen is how any such move will be treated by not only the commanders on the water but Washington as a whole. Some analysts are concerned that we could see a return to the tanker wars of the 1980s, but we hope that calmer heads will prevail.