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US and British naval forces shoot down 21 drones and missiles fired by Yemen-based Houthis

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US and British naval forces shot down 21 drones and missiles fired by Yemen-based Houthis towards the southern Red Sea, with Britain hinting at further measures to protect international shipping lanes. British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said it was the largest attack in the area by the militants to date.

This is an unsustainable situation, Shapps told reporters, adding watch this space with regards to further possible action by Britain and its international partners. 

Attacks by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea have caused shipping companies to avoid the Suez Canal, a key source of revenue for Egypt as it battles a deep economic crisis. International Monetary Fund figures show that 35 percent less cargo was transported through the Suez Canal in the first week of 2024 compared with the same period last year.

Analysts say the financial impact, though limited for now, will become painful if Houthi attacks keep throttling traffic through the main maritime artery connecting Europe and Asia. 

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