US creates naval coalition to protect shipping in Red Sea
The US has launched a new naval coalition, Operation Prosperity Guardian, in an effort to support the security and protect shipping in the Red Sea.
The Red Sea is a critical waterway that has been essential to freedom of navigation and a major commercial corridor that facilitates international trade.
Operation Prosperity Guardian is bringing together multiple countries including the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, Greece and Spain, to jointly address security challenges in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
The new multinational security initiative is under the umbrella of the Combined Maritime Forces and the leadership of its Task Force 153.
The goal is to ensure the freedom of navigation for all countries and bolster regional security and prosperity, according to the officials.
The statement comes as a response to the recent escalation of the Houthi attacks originating from Yemen. The number of Houthi attacks has increased lately as a response to the Israel-Gaza crisis. Israel’s military campaign started on October 7, and since then, the forces have been targeting the Palestinian infrastructure and local communities.
“The numerous attacks originating from Houthi-controlled territories in Yemen, including the December 3 attacks against three commercial vessels in the Southern Red Sea connected to 14 nations, threaten international commerce and maritime security. The Houthi-led seizure of the Galaxy Leader on November 19 and the detention of its 25-member international crew – who remain unjustly detained – is appalling,” a joint statement of the Governments of the United States of America, High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the European Union, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on behalf of NATO, says.
“Countries that seek to uphold the foundational principle of freedom of navigation must come together to tackle the challenge posed by this non-state actor launching ballistic missiles and uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) at merchant vessels from many nations lawfully transiting international waters,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin stated.
Earlier on, the US and the UK informed they were sending military and naval forces to support Israel and reinforce regional stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.