The North American Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, announced the launch of the Operation Prosperity Guardian to ensure the safety of maritime traffic in the Red Sea after recent attacks by the Yemeni Houthi militias.
“There is an international challenge that requires collective action. “Therefore today I announce the creation of Operation Prosperity Guardian, a new multinational security initiative under the umbrella of the Combined Maritime Forces and the leadership of Task Force 153 that focuses on security in the Red Sea,” he said. proclaimed Austin from Bahrain, where he is visiting.
They participate in the operation United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain “to 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 promoting regional security and prosperity.”
“The recent escalation in reckless Houthi attacks from Yemen threatens the free flow of trade, endangers the lives of innocent sailors and is a breach of international law.”, he pointed out.
Austin recalled that the Red Sea “is a critically important sea lane that has been essential for freedom of navigation, a main trade corridor that facilitates international trade.”
“Countries that want to maintain the founding principle of freedom of navigation must unite to face the challenge of this non-state actor that launches ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles against merchant ships of many countries that legitimately transit international waters,” he argued. .
Last week the president of Israel, Isaac Herzogcalled for “a truly international coalition” to combat Yemen’s Houthi rebels, so that US-led actions are “boosted and strengthened.”
Following the outbreak of war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Gaza, the Houthis, backed by Iranhave launched several volleys of missiles and drones against southern Israel in the 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 suspend their operations in the Red Seaamong them Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd, and today the oil company BP joined them, temporarily canceling the passage of its vessels through the area.
The last attack
The Shiite Houthi rebels of Yemen today claimed responsibility for the attack against two ships “linked” to Israel that were sailing near the Bab al Mandeb Strait, which connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden, in line with a series of actions in the last week “in support of the Palestinian people.”
In a statement, the military spokesman for the Houthis, Yahya Sarea, claimed “a quality military operation against two ships linked to the Zionist entity”; specifically, against the ship Swan Atlanticloaded with oil and flying the flag of the Cayman Islands, and against the MSC Clarawhich transported containers, under the flag of Panama.
Both ships were “attacked by two seaplanes,” he stated.
According to the military officer, the attack on the two ships occurred after their crews “refused to respond to calls” from the insurgents’ naval forces who, according to the note, “will not hesitate to attack any ship that appears.” “direct to Israeli ports” through the strait.
Likewise, he asserted that the rebels will continue to “prevent all ships heading to Israeli ports of any nationality from sailing in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea until they bring the food and medicine that our faithful brothers in the Gaza Strip need”, he remarked.
On the other hand, he said he would guarantee the safety of all ships heading to all ports in the world, with the exception of Israeli ports, and stated that “no harm will come to them,” while recalling that “they must keep the port open.” dating device.”
Sarea insisted that these actions are “in support of the Palestinian people” and “against injustice, as they are currently being subjected to killings, destruction and siege in the Gaza Strip.”
The company that owns the Swan Atlantic tanker, the Norwegian Inventor Chemical Tankers, reported today that the ship was attacked while passing through the Red Sea.
“The ship has been hit by an object. We have contacted everyone who needed to be contacted. So far we have no information about damage or photos,” general director Oystein Elgan told the Norwegian portal. E24. “There is no one injured on board,” he added, detailing that there are 22 crew members and three security guards on the tanker.
Egan further confirmed that the US Navy ship USS Carney responded to the Swan Atlantic’s distress call.
(With information from EFE)