EU to launch Navy mission to guard Red Sea as US destroys latest Houthi missile

The European Union is set to launch a full naval mission to guard cargo ships in the Red Sea from the Iran-backed Houthi terrorist group, whose latest attack — that threatened a US aircraft — was intercepted and destroyed.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Wednesday that the fleet will sail off within three weeks, with seven European countries ready to provide ships and planes to protect the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

“This is the purpose: protection of the ships. Intercepting of the attacks against the ships,” Borrell told reporters before an EU meeting in Brussels.

Borrell stressed that the naval fleet would only engage in shielding the cargo vessels traveling through the Red Sea and would not engage in direct combat with the Houthis.

France, Greece and Italy are all notably vying for the role to lead the naval effort against the Houthi attacks.

The European Union will deploy a naval mission to the Red Sea following a Houthi strike on a British tanker over the weekend. via REUTERS
The Houthis have welcomed an all-out conflict against the UK and US, with a recent demonstration in Yemen bringing thousands to celebrate the Red Sea attacks. YAHYA ARHAB/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Borrell said the need to ramp up protection in the Red Sea followed demands from businesses that ship cargo through the area, a key trade route connecting Europe and Asia that has been plagued by the Iran-backed militants.

“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,” he said. “It’s affecting prices, it’s affecting inflation. So, it’s a natural endeavor for us to try to avoid this risk.”

The move from the EU came as the United States intercepted yet another Houthi missile strike aimed at America’s assets on Wednesday.

The Iran-backed rebel group has launched nearly daily attacks against cargo and naval ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Getty Images

The US successfully struck a Houthi surface-to-air missile in Yemen that was prepared to launch and posed “an imminent threat to US aircraft operating in the region,” according to Central Command.

The US also intercepted another anti-ship cruise missile on Tuesday night that was aimed at the USS Gravely, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer. There were no injuries or damages to the ship as a result of the attack, Central Command said.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for the strike, calling it a “a victory for the oppression of the Palestinian people and a response to the American-British aggression against our country.”

The USS Gravely was the target of a Houthi attack on Tuesday, with the rebel’s missile intercepted. US Navy

The terror group appeared to reference the US and UK’s coordinated airstrikes against Houthi bases in Yemen to hinder their assaults in the Red Sea.

The Iran-backed terror group has delighted in the idea of fighting the US and its allies, with Houthi commander Muhammad al-Attifi claiming that all of Yemen would be ready for a war.

“We are prepared for a long-term confrontation with the forces of tyranny,” al-Attifi said in a statement earlier this week.

“The Americans, the British, and those who coordinated with them must realize the power of the sovereign Yemeni decision and that there is no debate or dispute over it,” he added.

With Post wires

Written by SaleemBaloch

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