In a major development in the Middle East conflict, Iran-backed Houthi rebels agreed to ensure safe passage for Russian and Chinese ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden in exchange for their political support, according to media reports.

Although it is unclear how exactly this political support might manifest by the two BRICS nations, the deal marks a shift in the broader geopolitical status quo in the region, as both Russia and China are permanent members of the UN Security Council and might use their votes to block any resolutions condemning the terrorist group.

The three parties reached an agreement following discussions in Oman between representatives of the two countries and Mohamed Abdel-Salam, a senior Houthi official.

The Houthis have repeatedly attacked vessels transiting through the Red Sea and surrounding waters since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, claiming that they are doing so in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.