Pentagon’s New Mission to Defend Commercial Ships in the Red Sea

Pentagon, in collaboration with allied nations, initiates Operation Prosperity Guardian to safeguard commercial vessels from drone and ballistic missile attacks originating in Houthi-controlled regions of Yemen transiting the Red Sea. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made the announcement during his visit to Bahrain, emphasizing the severity of the attacks that prompted shipping companies to halt vessel movements in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

The newly established initiative involves collaboration with the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, and Spain. 

Operation Prosperity Guardian aims to address the security concerns through joint patrols and intelligence support in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

While additional countries have agreed to participate in the operation, their identities remain confidential, according to an anonymous defense official. 

The mission will be coordinated by the existing Combined Task Force 153, initially set up in April 2022 to enhance maritime security in the region.

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US Urges UN Action Amid Houthi Attacks

pentagon-new-mission-to-defend-commercial-ships-in-the-red-sea
Pentagon, in collaboration with allied nations, initiates Operation Prosperity Guardian to safeguard commercial vessels from drone and ballistic missile attacks originating in Houthi-controlled regions of Yemen transiting the Red Sea.

Simultaneously, the United States has urged the United Nations Security Council to take action against the Houthi attacks. 

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield emphasized the threats posed by Houthi attacks to navigational rights, maritime security, and international commerce.

Two US Navy destroyers, the USS Carney and the USS Mason, have been deployed to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait to deter and respond to Houthi attacks on a daily basis. 

The decision to expand the operation follows a series of missile strikes on commercial vessels by Iranian-backed Houthis on December 3, marking an escalation in violence.

Despite the provocations, the US has not retaliated against the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen or targeted their weapons and infrastructure. 

When questioned about the absence of a counterstrike, Defense Secretary Austin did not provide a direct response on Monday.

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