US launches multinational push to safeguard Red Sea commerce

US launches multinational push to safeguard Red Sea commerce
# 19 December 2023 12:42 (UTC +04:00)

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday announced the creation of a multinational operation to safeguard commerce in the Red Sea following a series of missile and drone attacks by Houthis, APA reports citing Reuters.

Austin, who is on a trip to Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy's headquarters in the Middle East, said participating countries include the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain.

The group will conduct joint patrols in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

"This is an international challenge that demands collective action. Therefore today I am announcing the establishment of Operation Prosperity Guardian, an important new multinational security initiative," Austin said in a statement early on Tuesday.

In a virtual meeting with ministers from more than 40 nations, Austin called on other countries to contribute as he condemned "reckless Houthi actions."

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED