All Israel

US announces multinational security initiative to combat growing Houthi threat

Newly recruited fighters who joined a Houthi military force intended to be sent to fight in support of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, march during a parade in Sanaa, Yemen Dec. 2, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah)

The United States announced on Monday that it is launching a new international initiative to combat numerous attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen on international trade and maritime security in the Red Sea.

The initiative, Operation Prosperity Guardian, was announced by the United States and will include a host of other countries. The task force will set up a patrol of the region and collect intelligence.

Since the war between Israel and Hamas began on Oct. 7, the Yemen-based rebel group has carried out multiple attacks on ships traveling through the Red Sea, as well as drone and missile attacks targeting Israel.

Those attacks were recently escalated on Dec. 3, when the Iran-backed rebel group attacked and damaged three commercial vessels as part of a violent offensive directed at United States warships.

The attack led multiple shipping companies to order any of their vessels destined for the Bab el-Mandeb Strait to pause until the security situation could be handled.

“This is an international challenge that demands collective action,” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement while he was visiting Bahrain.

“Therefore, today I am announcing the establishment of Operation Prosperity Guardian, an important new multinational security initiative.”

Among the countries joining the new task force are the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain, according to Austin. Some of the countries will partner to patrol the area while others will provide intelligence details in the Southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. 

The waterway between the Suez Canal at the northern end of the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait at the southern end is a busy corridor, filled with various international vessels carrying manufactured goods between Asia and Europe, including oil and diesel fuel. About $1 trillion in goods passes through the strait every year.

Multiple other countries asked not to be named publicly but have also agreed to participate in the operation, according to Austin.

The new initiative is in addition to the already existing Combined Task Force (CTF) 153 that was established in April 2022 to improve maritime security in the Red Sea, Bab el-Mandeb and the Gulf of Aden. 

CTF 153 includes 39 member nations, but officials will determine which of them will participate in Operation Prosperity Guardian.

Maersk, a top global shipping company, announced on Friday it was suspending its the passage of its vessels through “a key Red Sea strait” following attacks on merchant ships.

“Following the near-miss incident involving Maersk Gibraltar Thursday and yet another attack on a container vessel today, we have instructed all Maersk vessels in the area bound to pass through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait to pause their journey until further notice,” the Danish company said in a statement.

Since the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea first began, three U.S. naval destroyers – the USS Carney, the USS Stethem and the USS Mason – have monitored the strait daily to help deter and intercept attacks from the Houthis.

After multiple attacks in the Red Sea, the United States has not struck back at the Iranian-backed Houthis or targeted any of their weapons or sites. When asked why the Pentagon had not conducted a counterstrike, Austin did not comment.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories