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US Warns Merchant Ships To Avoid Red Sea Area


Wires carrying unattributed comments claiming that the US, 'has warned its merchant ships of the potential for Houthi retaliation', and that they should avoid the south Red Sea area 'until further notice'. Comes after a presumet Houthi strike on a US-operated dry bulker (see bullet 'US Operator Confirms No Significant Damage From Strike', 1615GMT). This comes days after a similar warningwas issued, although this warning is notable in not being time limited (72 hours was the previous time period), but instead being open-ended.

  • The increased security risk in the region comes as the Pentagon confirms that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has been discharged from hospital. Austin will "recuperate and perform his duties remotely for a period of time". His doctors say that Austin is "expected to make a full recovery."
  • There remainsnotable focuson a perceived lack of transparency around Austin's recent hospitalisation. Austin orchestrated and monitored last week's air strikes on Houthi targets from his hospital bed according to reports, but a Pentagon investigation into the situation could put pressure on Austin and the White House amid the former's recovery.

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