Global SITREP for Tuesday, 05 March 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Tuesday, 05 March 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Tuesday, 05 March 2024.

  1. HOUTHIS SELLING PERMITS TO ENTER YEMEN’S TERRITORIAL WATERS: The Houthi government of Yemen announced that permits will be required to enter their territorial waters. Permits and identification will be verified by the Yemeni Navy.

Why It Matters: The Houthis, as the governing body of Yemen, are exercising an internationally recognized sovereign right. This will likely enhance the flow of goods through the Red Sea but still increase the cost of goods by at least the cost of the permit. Additionally, ships seeking the six-mile wide passage through Eritrean and Djiboutian waters to avoid the permit cost are at much higher risk of attack by Yemen. As ships are struck like the Rubymar, the free shipping lane is at higher risk of blockage due to navigational hazards, forcing ships into Yemeni waters if they wish to pass. – J.V.

Pertinent Yemeni territorial waters are highlighted in red.

  1. TURKEY BUSTS THIRD ISRAELI SPY RING IN THREE MONTHS: Turkey reportedly arrested seven more people for conducting espionage for Israel on Tuesday. Seven others were arrested in February, and 34 across the nation were arrested in January.
  • One of the arrestees is accused of placing tracking devices on individuals targeted by Israeli intelligence.

Why It Matters: These spy rings are likely supporting Israel’s declaration that they would hunt down Hamas agents anywhere in the world, regardless of the consequences. – J.V.

  1. BALIKATAN TO INCLUDE FRANCE: France will join the United States, Australia, and the Philippines for Balikatan 2024, a military exercise focused on testing the interoperability of Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) systems against China. The Japanese are invited but unconfirmed, and another sinking exercise (SINKEX) would occur. The exercise is scheduled for late April to early May.

Why It Matters: The Batanes are likely to remain more heavily fortified after Balikatan after the exercise, as the U.S. Army recently revealed as part of a cache-building effort to shore up the Asia-Pacific logistics. This is likely to dissuade China from a military reunification with Taiwan as the Philippine Batanes and Japanese Senkakus would trifurcate any blockade around the island. The Chinese would have to seize those islands, drawing numerous other countries into the war. – J.V.

  1. CCG SHATTERS FILIPINO WINDSHIELD, COLLIDES WITH PCG: The Philippines conducted their latest resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in the Second Thomas Shoal. The mission succeeded, but several ships were damaged by Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) deterrence efforts.
  • Two CCG vessels fired water cannons at a military-chartered civilian resupply ship and shattered their windshield, resulting in four Filipino crewmen sustaining minor injuries.
  • Chinese Coast Guard maneuvers resulted in collisions with one Philippine Coast Guard vessel and one chartered civilian resupply ship.
  • Both sides have blamed the other for the resulting damage. The Philippines summoned the Chinese ambassador to reprimand him.

Why It Matters:  Both sides appear to be avoiding the use of lethal force at all costs, but very little can be said that has not already been said. The Philippines appears unlikely to take any escalatory measures without a Filipino dying to Chinese actions. – J.V.

THAT’S A WRAP: This does it for today’s edition. Thank you for reading. If you know folks who would also like to receive this email, would you please forward it to them? We appreciate you spreading the word. – M.S.

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