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There has been a significant increase in military and political activity in northern Israel, on the border with Lebanon. On 26 June 2024, Israeli media confirmed open-source reports of forces transferring from the conflict in Gaza to the northern border. Two Israeli brigades, based in the north, have recently carried out exercises simulating fighting in Lebanon.


On the 12th of June, a Liberia-flagged bulk carrier was impacted by an RC-WBIED southwest of Hodeida, Yemen. The vessel was transiting with AIS off and west of the main shipping lane. The impact caused the engine room to flood. The vessel
was subsequently declared “not under command” and “dead in the water”.

AMBREY – CHINA, Military exercise – Joint Sword

China conducted short-notice, large-scale military exercises around Taiwan, that included the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), and the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF). The exercise was dubbed “Joint Sword 2024A”. There was no official announcement of the exercise or the exercise areas, the only warnings were issued via media. The Chinese stated the exercise included manoeuvres involving “advancing”, “besieging”, “blockading”, “attacking”, “destroying” and “cutting off”.

AMBREY – CHINA, US Secretary of State visit to China

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited China from April 24-26.

During the meetings Blinken discussed the bilateral relationship between the US and China, as well as military-to-military communication to avoid miscalculation and conflict, serious concerns around China providing tacit support to Russia in its conflict against Ukraine and maintaining stability across the Taiwan Strait.


In the afternoon of the 3rd of May 2024, the Houthis announced that they would “immediately” target vessels headed to Israel from the Mediterranean Sea. The Houthis are assessed to possess the range to target shipping in the east Mediterranean Sea from Yemen.

AMBREY - Baltic Sea, Russian Warship Incident with Danish Passenger Ship

On the 19th of April, a Danish-flagged Ro-Ro passenger ship was compelled to perform evasive manoeuvres to avoid a collision with a Russian warship 7NM northwest off the coast of Zealand Odde. The vessel executed a 360-degree turn and cut its 35kt-speed in half. The operator stated that the Russian vessel "did not follow maritime regulations.”


On the 13th of April, Iran seized an Israeli-owned container ship in the Gulf of Oman. Iran threatened retaliation for the killing of an IRGC General in an Israeli airstrike on Damascus, Syria. The increased threat to Israeli-shipping is assessed to persist in the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea. Israel-affiliation is determined more strictly by Iran compared to the Houthi – risk of false targeting persists. Vessels transiting the Indian Ocean should conduct thorough affiliation checks.


On the 7th of April, the Houthis claimed to have targeted a merchant vessel in the Indian Ocean. The Houthis are assessed to possess the capability to reach the vessel’s location, operating between Mombasa, Kenya, and Mogadishu, Somalia. Though the Houthis have stated they will target Israel affiliations in the extended area, they have blamed the Americans and British for the extension of their operations – a targeting of American and British-owned shipping is therefore assessed to remain within the Houthi target profile in the extended area.

AMBREY – Guyana-Venezuela, Essequibo Region Insight

On the 3rd of April 2024, the Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro signed into law the creation of the Venezuelan state of Essequibo (‘Guyana Essequiba’). Alongside this, he proclaimed that the elected President of Guyana “does not govern Guyana, Guyana is governed by the [US] Southern Command, the CIA and ExxonMobil”. Ambrey Analytics assesses the dispute is unlikely to result in a conflict, but it could result in business disruption.

AMBREY – Gabon, 'National Dialogue' Insight

On the 2nd of April 2024, the ‘transitional’ military government opened the ‘National Dialogue’. The stated aim is to review a draft constitution, determine the duration of the transition from military to civilian government, and discuss the “political, economic, and social organisation” of Gabon. Following the opening ceremony, the Dialogue was postponed until the 6th of April pending the training of committee chairs. The event is scheduled to last until the 30th of April.

AMBREY – Mediterranean, Tunisia Humanitarian Search and Rescue (HSAR) Insight

A Panama-flagged tanker and a Liberia-flagged container ship rescued 158 people 61M northeast of Sfax, Tunisia. Ambrey was provided with footage taken by the tanker's crew, which showed at least 20 individuals in the water. Some were wearing life vests, others were not. Additionally, an overcrowded, blue-hulled, small boat typical of those used by Central Mediterranean migrants could be seen alongside the tanker. Both of her outboard engines were operational, but the boat was unsuitable for a Mediterranean crossing. The tanker’s crew embarked the migrants.


- The Houthis have threatened to extend their area of operations to include the Indian Ocean.
- The threat specified that Israeli-affiliated vessels would be targeted.
- The Houthis blame the American and British activity for the escalation – a targeting of American and British-owned shipping is assessed to remain within the Houthi target profile.

Please follow the link below for full threat circular.

AMBREY – Black Sea, USV Threat Insight

The port of Novorossiysk, Russia, has imposed a ban on the navigation of all small vessels and watercraft until the 18th of March, 2024, at 15:00 UTC. While the reasons for the ban were not officially specified, Ambrey assessed that Russian forces likely suspect an imminent Ukrainian unmanned surface vehicle and/or subsea sabotage attack on the port of Novorossiysk, which has replaced Sevastopol as a primary Russian naval port in the Black Sea. Vessels sailing in the Black Sea are advised to conduct a comprehensive voyage risk assessment. Additionally, to post lookouts at the bow of the vessels and to minimise sailing during low visibility.

Haiti, Gang Violence Insight

Ambrey assesses that Haitian gangs hold the advantage in the deteriorating security situation of the country. Past data suggest gang recruitment increases during periods of unrest, displacement, and hunger. Due to the uncertain timeline of force deployment as well as the strategic issues with urban warfare against plain clothes ‘soldiers’, gang control over key areas such as Port-Au-Prince is unlikely to be addressed in the short to medium term. Following PM Henry’s resignation, the process of appointing an interim prime minister may be fraught with further gang-led violence.

Papua New Guinea, Internal Crisis Insight

Domestic economic issues, have led to a deteriorating security situation in Papua New Guinea. It has also increased opposition to the sitting Prime Minister James Marape, who is set to face a no-confidence vote in May. In January 2024, violent civil unrest started after false reports were shared of public sector pay-checks being reduced by 50% and on 18 February 2024, a conflict involving over 17 tribes resulted in over 70 fatalities in the Enga province.

China-Taiwan, Kinmen Islands Insight

On the 14th of February, a Chinese fishing vessel was approached by a Taiwan Coast Guard Administration (CGA) patrol boat after it encroached into Taiwanese territorial waters, approximately 1M off Great Kinmen Island, which is administered by Taiwan. Between the 20th-25th of February, the CCG increased its presence and activity around the islands. China is likely attempting to put pressure on Taiwan over the issue of sovereignty of the Kinmen Islands.

Please follow the link below for full update.


Three crew members were killed following a Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile strike on the bulk carrier TRUE CONFIDENCE.
These were the first crew fatalities since the Houthis began attacking merchant shipping in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict. In the whole of 2023, only one merchant vessel crew member died from a security event in a different theatre.

Please follow the link below for full threat circular.

CANARY ISLANDS - Irregular Migration Rise

There has been a notable and measurable increase in the number of irregular migrants attempting to reach the Canary Islands, Spain, aboard small boats. These migrants typically embark on their journeys from Western Sahara, Mauritania, and Senegal, where the number of people on board these small boats varies from 35 to 125. This increasing migration has become a serious safety and security concern for merchant shipping crossing the area.

Please follow the link below for full update.


A Myanmar Navy PGM-421-class coastal patrol vessel (pennant number 423) was damaged by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) launched by the anti-government rebels, the People's Defense Force (PDF), in the mouth of the Dawei River, Myanmar. The UAV reportedly damaged the vessel and injured five naval personnel aboard. The vessel returned fire with heavy machine guns; rebel casualties were not reported.

Please follow the link below for full update.


The Houthis continue to target Israeli, American, and British-linked shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. So far in February, four vessels have been targeted by the Houthis.

Please follow the link below for full threat update.


Threats in the region have grown significantly, they are complex, and they are now over a wider area of operations.

The situation poses a significant risk to life and the safety of vessels in the area.

Please follow the link below for full update.


Postponement of the upcoming General Elections that had been planned for 25 February 2024 has led to protests and disruption. Opposition leaders called the action an ‘institutional coup.’ Several opposition leaders were detained.

Please follow the link below for full update.


Ukrainian forces conducted an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attack on the port of Ust-Luga, Russia. The attack resulted in a fire at the Novatek gas terminal. Ambrey observed video footage that showed a large fire at the gas and oil terminal. Residents of nearby towns reported on social media hearing two explosions and eyewitnesses reported the "sounds of flying drones" at 00:20 UTC - 22/01/24, indicating that two long-range Ukrainian UAVs reached the Russian port.

Taiwan Strait - Election Insight

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (Taiwan) are on course to go through a period of heightened political and military tension from the elections until the inauguration of the Taiwan President. The Republic of China has its presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for 13 January 2024. The current President, Tsai Ing-wen, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has already served a maximum of two consecutive terms. Polling suggests that Lai Ching-te, Tsai’s successor in the DPP, will likely win the election. A win for the DPP over the Kuomintang (KMT) will likely be seen as a setback for Beijing.

Indian Ocean Region Insecurity

The Houthis have broadened their target profile of 'Israel-affiliated' vessels. They have also mistakenly targeted vessels that were no longer associated with Israel. There has been an increased military presence in the Red Sea which has led to the interception of many missiles and UAVs, but the presence has been uneven, meaning ship hardening and protection measures remain important to mitigate the associated risks. In one of the more recent attacks, a speedboat approached at high speed and opened fire on a civilian ship. Armed guards returned fire and repelled this attack.

AMBREY - Somalia, Puntland Hijackings

In the space of one week, two Iranian dhows were hijacked within Somali territorial waters while conducting legal fishing activities. On the 29th of November 2023, a 21m-long Iran-flagged fishing vessel/dhow was boarded by 6-8 assailants armed with AK-47-style assault rifles and RPG-7s offshore Qandala, Puntland, Somalia. The week prior, another Iran-flagged fishing dhow, ALMERAJ-1, was hijacked by Somali clan militia offshore Eyl, Puntland, Somalia. Both vessels were boarded while fishing inside Somali territorial waters. Ambrey understands both incidents to be ongoing with the assailants remaining aboard the dhows and towing skiffs. The ALMERAJ-1 has returned to Somali territorial waters after sailing into the Indian Ocean 400M offshore, south of Socotra. This group threatened to attack other ships if they were not paid US $400,000.

Ambrey advises merchant shipping to remain vigilant whilst transiting offshore Puntland. It is advised to avoid transits through Puntland’s territorial waters. Port calls to the region’s port of Bossaso are assessed permissible at this time, but it is advised to embark private armed security teams; weapons must be bonded in territorial waters. Industry advice is to avoid transits through the Socotra Gap, but vessels with high freeboards, high speeds and best management practice measures in place do continue to routinely transit through the area without disruption. It is recommended to take intelligence advisory and routing advice in the area as the situation remains fluid, and the ultimate intention of the hijackers remains unclear.

AMBREY - Western Black Sea Storms

Ukrainian meteorologists have described the recent storms in the Black Sea as a “once-in-a-decade weather event.” Waves have been recorded up to 9.5m high and wind speeds have exceeded 30kts. At the outset of the renewed Russian invasion, Ukraine deployed hundreds of YaM-type anchor contact sea mines to protect its shores from a Russian amphibious attack.  Russian forces also mined the coastlines of occupied Crimea using the Soviet-era sea mines. Russian naval aviators have also been dropping sea mines, both contact and bottom sea mines, into the transit routes of the Ukrainian unilateral grain corridor. Ambrey is also aware of the significant weakening of Russian coastal defences around Sevastopol, and the Kerch area.

Ambrey Analytics assesses that the threat to merchant shipping in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov has heightened. This is the most significant storm since the beginning of the renewed invasion. Ambrey assesses it highly likely that YaM-type sea mines would have detached from their anchors during the adverse weather. The predominant Black Sea winter currents run from the northwest, south toward the Turkish coast, and then break east toward Georgia. The storm and the currents will likely result in sea mines drifting into Romanian and Bulgarian waters in the coming days. It is assessed likely that the Ukrainian armed forces will seek to test the weakened Russian coastal defences. This will likely take the form of Unmanned Surface Vessels. These could result in disruption to the sanctioned port of Sevastopol and may disrupt vessel traffic in the vicinity of Kerch.

AMBREY – West Africa Insight

Gulf of Guinea Insight

AMBREY – Black Sea Insight

Novorossiysk Insight