update deskIsrael at War

Pro-Iranian militias have attacked US bases 118 times since Oct. 17

Maersk suspends Red Sea shipping again after Houthi attacks • U.S. extends military presence in Qatar another 10 years.

Then-US Vice President Mike Pence talks to the troops in Erbil Air Base, Iraq, Nov. 23, 2019. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Then-US Vice President Mike Pence talks to the troops in Erbil Air Base, Iraq, Nov. 23, 2019. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Pro-Iranian militias have attacked American bases in Syria and Iraq at least 118 times since Oct. 17, including five attacks since the start of the year, according to U.S. sources.

Attacks on Tuesday included multiple rockets fired at Patrol Base Shaddadi in Syria and drone attacks targeting Erbil Airbase in Iraq and Mission Support Site Green Village in Syria.

No injuries or material damage was reported in the most recent attacks.

Wednesday marks the fourth anniversary of the assassination by the United States of Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and Iranian-Iraqi commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Maersk suspends Red Sea shipping again

Meanwhile, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed that the Houthis in Yemen had launched two ballistic missiles at ships in the Red Sea on Tuesday night, the 24th attack on commercial shipping in the Red Sea since Nov. 19. No damage to the vessels was reported.

“Several commercial ships in the area reported the impact of the launches around them, although none reported damage. The attacks on innocent seafarers continue to disrupt the free flow of international trade,” CENTCOM said in a statement.

Also on Tuesday, Danish shipping giant Maersk announced that it was halting Red Sea and Gulf of Aden shipping until further notice after one of its vessels was attacked by the Houthis over the weekend.

The decision extends a 48-hour pause implemented immediately after the attack by four small Houthi boats on the container ship Maersk Hangzhou. U.S. Navy helicopters responded to the distress call, also coming under fire and sinking three of the four boats, killing the crews.

Vessels will be rerouted around the longer Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa, according to the company’s statement.

Late last month, Maersk announced the resumption of shipping in the Red Sea after previously suspending operations due to the Houthi threat. This came after the company received confirmation that “Operation Prosperity Guardian,” a U.S.-led multinational coalition of naval forces protecting shipping in the Red Sea, had been set up and deployed.

US extends military presence in Qatar by 10 years

The United States has reached an agreement with Qatar to extend its military presence in the Arab Gulf state for another 10 years, CNN reported on Tuesday, citing three U.S. defense officials and another official familiar with the agreement.

Al Udeid Air Base, located in the desert southwest of Doha, is the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East, housing the U.S. Air Force and hosting the forward headquarters of CENTCOM and the headquarters of the U.S. Air Forces Central Command as well as the USAF’s 379th Air Expeditionary Wing. The Qatari and British air forces and other foreign forces also operate from the base.

It can house more than 10,000 U.S. troops.

Despite the American military presence, Doha has come under fire for continuing to support the Hamas terror group in Gaza that committed the Oct. 7 atrocities in southern Israel, playing host to its top leadership.

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