The Maersk Sentosa container ship sails southbound to exit the Suez Canal in Suez, Egypt, on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. A steep decline in the number of tankers entering a vital Red Sea conduit suggests that attacks on ships in the area are further disrupting a key artery of global trade. Photographer: Stringer/Bloomberg
United Nations CNN  — 

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday approved a resolution calling on Yemen’s Houthi rebel group to “cease its brazen” attacks in the Red Sea, as the United States and Britain hinted at military strikes.

The warnings come as the Iran-backed militants continue a weeks-long campaign to launch drones and missiles at vessels in the commercially vital shipping lane, which they say are revenge against Israel for its military campaign in Gaza.

The UN Security Council vote was 11 in favor, 0 against, and four abstentions, including Russia and China.

Earlier Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned “there will be consequences” for the continued Houthi attacks, as he makes a diplomatic tour of the region to try to cool tensions.

The US and other nations have a number of ships in the Red Sea as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian, a multinational effort consisting of more than 20 countries to safeguard shipping in one of the world’s most critical waterways.

US Navy warships have shot down many of the Houthi projectiles in recent weeks, including a particularly sustained barrage of attacks on Tuesday.