This photo provided by the French Navy shows the frigate Languedoc in the Strait of Hormuz, between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, Friday, May 28, 2021. France said Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, that one of its warships in the Red Sea was targeted by drones coming from Yemen. Both were intercepted and shot down. (Marine Nationale via AP)
  • The U.S. and a host of other nations are creating a new force to protect ships transiting the Red Sea that have come under attack by drones and ballistic missiles fired from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.
  • The seriousness of the attacks, several of which have damaged vessels, has led multiple shipping companies to order their ships to hold in place and not enter the Bab el-Mandeb Strait until the security situation can be addressed.
  • The U.S. military’s Central Command reported two more of the attacks on commercial vessels Monday. A strike by an attack drone and a ballistic missile hit a tanker off Yemen, at roughly the same time a cargo ship reported an explosive detonation in the water near them.
  • The recent escalation in reckless Houthi attacks originating from Yemen threatens the free flow of commerce, endangers innocent mariners, and violates international law.
  • The Red Sea is a critical waterway that has been essential to freedom of navigation and a major commercial corridor that facilitates international trade.
  • Countries that seek to uphold the foundational principle of freedom of navigation must come together to tackle the challenge posed by this non-state actor launching ballistic missiles and uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) at merchant vessels from many nations lawfully transiting international waters.
  • The establishment of Operation Prosperity Guardian, an important new multinational security initiative under the umbrella of the Combined Maritime Forces and the leadership of its Task Force 153, which focuses on security in the Red Sea.
  • Operation Prosperity Guardian is bringing together multiple countries to include the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain, to jointly address security challenges in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, with the goal of ensuring freedom of navigation for all countries and bolstering regional security and prosperity.

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