The Pentagon announced this Monday a military coalition made up of 10 countries to ensure safety and freedom of navigation in the Red Sea in the face of attacks by Houthi rebels since Yemen.
The coalition is formed, in addition to the United States, by the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Norway, Bahrain and Seychelles, as reported in a statement by the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd J. Austin. This will act under the name ‘Operation Prosperity Guardian’ and under the umbrella of the international naval force Combined Maritime Forces (CFM, in English).
The CMF is a coalition made up of 39 countries and commanded by US Navy Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, whose objective is protect trade flow and improve maritime security in the different regions where it is present.
These countries will jointly address “security challenges” in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden “with the aim of guaranteeing freedom of navigation for all countries and strengthening regional security and prosperity,” according to the statement. from the Pentagon.
Austin assured that the escalation in attacks by the Houthi rebels “threatens the free flow of commerce, endangers innocent sailors and violates international law” in a region that is “an important corridor that facilitates international trade.” “Countries seeking to defend the fundamental principle of freedom of navigation must come together to confront the challenge posed by this non-state actor that launches ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) against merchant ships of many nations legally transiting international waters. “, held. “This,” he insisted, “is an international challenge that demands collective action.”
Austin, who was in Israel this Monday, has called a meeting for Tuesday with ministers from the region and other countries to address the situation in the Red Sea.
Following the outbreak of Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis, backed by Iran, They have launched several volleys of missiles and drones against southern Israel in these last two months and also against ships flying the flag of the Jewish State or owned by Israeli companies in the Red Sea and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb.
Since last Friday, the main maritime transport groups have been announcing that they are suspending their operations in the Red Sea, including Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd, and today the oil company BP joined them, temporarily canceling the passage of its vessels through the zone.
Last week, Israeli President Isaac Herzog called for “a truly international coalition” to combat Yemen’s Houthi rebels, so that US-led actions are “boosted and strengthened.”