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Red Sea: the operation international is taking shape

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Canada, already present on the seas of the region as part of operation ARTEMIS, will take part in this new mission led by the United States.

Reuters

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The international operation led by the United States to secure maritime traffic in the Red Sea in the face of repeated attacks by Yemen's Houthis began to take shape on Tuesday, with the mobilization of several ships by the ten countries participating in the “Guardian of Prosperity” initiative.

Monday evening, the United States announced the establishment of this multinational military operation in the Red Sea to protect commercial ships from attacks by rebels supported by Iran, who say they are acting in support of Palestinian Hamas, at war. against Israel.

The United States has three destroyers in the region and the British Ministry of Defense confirmed on Tuesday the participation of its destroyer HMS Diamond .

Italy, for its part, announced the dispatch in the coming hours of one of its frigates, the Virginio Fasan.

For its part, France indicated that it would take measures with its partners to put an end to attacks by Yemen's Houthis in the Red Sea.

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We have decided to strengthen our cooperation to fight the terrorist threat in this area. Measures will be taken in coordination with our allies, declared Tuesday the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, following a meeting with her British counterpart David Cameron, visiting Paris.

We must strengthen our operational capabilities in the area to put an end to these attacks.

A quote from Catherine Colonna, French Minister of Foreign Affairs

The French frigate Languedoc already patrols the region and last week shot down a drone directly threatening a Norwegian oil tanker, according to the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

In a press release, the ministry specified that the French ships would remain under national command in order to guarantee their freedom of action.

While calling for the broadest possible coordination between partners in the region and the various nations keen to preserve freedom of maritime movement in the area, France specified that the Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, would hold talks on this subject with his Saudi counterpart later today.

The United States said that Bahrain, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, the Seychelles and Spain were among the countries involved in the operation, which provides for joint patrols in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The Canadian Armed Forces will deploy three staff officers in support of this multinational operation in the Red Sea. Starting next week, these new officers will be assigned through Operation ARTEMIS, in which Canadian Armed Forces ships and aircraft are already taking part in the waters of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, from the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean.

As part of the operation, international naval forces will carry out patrols in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to provide assurance to the maritime industry, as well as prevent illegal activities and security threat of navigation and international freedoms, writes the Ministry of National Defense.

This is an international challenge that requires collective action, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement announcing the initiative, called Operation Prosperity Guardian. prosperity”).

Lloyd Austin, who is in Manama, capital of Bahrain and headquarters of the US fleet in the Middle East, called other States to participate in this initiative and condemned the reckless actions of the Houthis.

According to a European diplomat whose country is taking part in this joint operation, the idea is for coalition warships to shoot down missiles and drones fired by the Houthis and accompany merchant ships in the Red Sea.

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The objective is to send a strong signal to Iran, adds this diplomat, who wished to keep anonymity. There is no doubt that the Houthis are acting on behalf of Tehran, he emphasizes.

The Islamic Republic denies being involved in the attacks, but says it supports the Houthi rebels.

The naval alliance announced by the United States is fundamentally useless, a senior Houthi official, Mohammed Abdoulsalam, reacted to Reuters on Tuesday.

The waters off the coast of Yemen are safe, except for Israeli ships or those trading with Israel, due to the unjust war in Palestine, he added.

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A helicopter belonging to the Houthi rebels approaches a boat in the Red Sea, November 20 2023.

The intensification of attacks has prompted shipping companies to change their routes in recent days.

On Tuesday, the Danish shipping company Maersk declared that its ships crossing the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden would be diverted to Africa via the Cape of Bonne -Hope, in order to avoid the Suez Canal.

The company called for the rapid establishment of the operation security in the Red Sea to mitigate impacts on global maritime trade.

Several other major shipping companies, such as Hapag Lloyd and MSC, as well as well as the oil group BP, also announced that they would avoid the Red Sea route and make a detour via the Cape of Good Hope.

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