EU Deploying Navy To Red Sea Amid Houthi Threats

The European Union is preparing to initiate a comprehensive naval mission aimed at safeguarding cargo vessels in the Red Sea against threats from the Iran-backed Houthi terrorist group. Their most recent attack, which posed a threat to a U.S. aircraft, was successfully intercepted and neutralized.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced on Wednesday that the fleet will embark on its mission within three weeks. Seven European nations are prepared to contribute ships and aircraft to secure the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

Ahead of an EU meeting in Brussels, Borrell said, “This is the purpose: protection of the ships. Intercepting of the attacks against the ships.” He emphasized that the naval fleet’s primary mission is to ensure the safety of cargo vessels navigating the Red Sea, with no intention of engaging in direct combat against the Houthis.

France, Greece, and Italy have prominently expressed their interest in assuming leadership roles in the naval initiative aimed at countering Houthi attacks.

Borrell highlighted that the decision to enhance security measures in the Red Sea was prompted by the requests of companies involved in shipping cargo through this vital trade route connecting Europe and Asia. This route has faced challenges posed by Iran-backed militants, necessitating increased protection.

Borrell said, “Many European firms asked us to do that because their business model is suffering a lot due to the high increase in cost and having to go down to South Africa. It’s affecting prices. It’s affecting inflation. So, it’s a natural endeavor for us to try to avoid this risk.”

The EU’s decision coincided with the United States intercepting another missile strike by the Houthi group targeting American assets on Wednesday.

In Yemen, the United States effectively neutralized a Houthi surface-to-air missile that was in a launch-ready state and posed an “imminent threat to US aircraft operating in the region,” as confirmed by Central Command.

Furthermore, on Tuesday night, the US intercepted an additional anti-ship cruise missile that had been targeted at the USS Gravely, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer. Central Command reported that the ship sustained no injuries or damages as a result of the attempted attack.

The Houthi group took credit for the attack, characterizing it as a triumph for the cause of the Palestinian people and a reaction to perceived “American-British aggression against our nation.”

The terrorist organization seemed to allude to the joint airstrikes conducted by the U.S. and UK on Houthi bases in Yemen, intended to impede their operations in the Red Sea.

The Iran-backed group has openly expressed its enthusiasm for engaging with the U.S. and its allies in combat. Houthi commander Muhammad al-Attifi even asserted that all of Yemen would be prepared for such a conflict.