EU to launch mission to protect Red Sea shipping

EU to launch mission to protect Red Sea shipping
# 19 February 2024 14:11 (UTC +04:00)

The EU on Monday will officially launch its naval mission in the Red Sea to defend commercial shipping from Yemen's Houthi militants' attacks, two senior European sources told Argus, APA reports.

The operation — named "Aspides", an ancient Greek word for shield — will involve three frigates for what will be initially a year-long mission, Hannah Neumann, chair of the EU parliament's delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula, told Argus on the sidelines of Munich Security Conference.

The mission is being touted as a "defensive operation" to ensure freedom of navigation and protect merchant vessels from Iran-backed Houthi militants. Its area of operation will include Bab el-Mandeb, the Strait of Hormuz, as well as international waters in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Gulf, according to the EU Official Journal. It will not conduct operations on land in Yemen.

Germany and Belgium announced they will send a frigate each to join the mission, as will Italy.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED