EU launches naval mission to protect Red Sea shipping 

EU launches naval mission to protect Red Sea shipping 


The European Union on Monday launched a naval mission to the Red Sea to restore and safeguard freedom of navigation in the area.

The defensive maritime security operation, named Eunavfor Aspides, comes after Iranian-aligned Houthi militants started attacking international shipping in the Red Sea in support of Palestinian militant group Hamas in its war with Israel.

“The European Union is responding swiftly to the necessity to restore maritime security and freedom of navigation in a highly strategic maritime corridor.

“Within its defensive mandate, the operation will provide maritime situational awareness, accompany vessels, and protect them against possible multi-domain attacks at sea,” EU’s Foreign Policy chief, Josep Borrell said in a statement.

The statement did not specify the number of vessels that will be involved in the operation although Germany, France and Italy are expected to contribute vessels and manpower to the exercise.

The EU said the mission would be active along the main sea lines of communication in the Baab al-Mandab Strait and the Strait of Hormuz, as well as international waters in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman.

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