According to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a ‘multinational operation’ has been set up to protect merchant shipping in the Red Sea. He announced this in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. According to the defense minister, including the Netherlands, is participating in the operation called Operation Prosperity Guardian.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels have been targeting cargo ships in the Red Sea for some time. According to the Houthis, they are targeting their missiles and drones at ships linked to Israel in retaliation for Israeli bombardments in the Gaza Strip.
In addition to the United States and the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Norway, Seychelles and Spain also participate in the alliance. Countries will contribute to patrols in an area important to maritime trade. Many major shipping companies have previously said they do not want to go through the Red Sea because of the deteriorating security situation.
A defense spokesman said earlier Monday that no decision had yet been made on whether to send a Dutch ship to the Red Sea or make another contribution. Patrol Vessel Zr.Ms. Holland is already near Cyprus, but not operational in the Red Sea. (AP)
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