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Updated December 19th, 2023 at 15:59 IST

USS Carney responds to Houthi attacks, Operation Prosperity Guardian targets Houthi menace

Led by Task Force 153, this multinational coalition, including key allies like the UK, France, and others, aims to safeguard vital maritime routes.

Yuvraj Tyagi
Houthis
Houthis | Image:AP
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In a strategic response to the escalating security challenges posed by Houthi forces in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, US Secretary of Defence, Lloyd Austin, announced the launch of a new military operation named "Operation Prosperity Guardian." This development signifies a proactive measure to address recent Houthi attacks on commercial marine traffic, particularly targeting merchant vessels in international waters. 

Operation Prosperity Guardian will operate under the Combined Maritime Forces, with Task Force 153 taking the lead in addressing security concerns in the Red Sea. The coalition includes key allies such as the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, and Spain, forming a united front against the increasing threats. This strategic move underscores the significance of safeguarding crucial maritime routes and maintaining regional stability.

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Secretary Austin, speaking during his visit to Israel, emphasized the urgent need for collaborative military efforts to counter the Houthi threat. He stated, "The recent escalation in reckless Houthi attacks threatens the free flow of commerce, endangers innocent mariners, and violates international law." The Red Sea, a vital waterway essential for freedom of navigation and international trade, has become a focal point for strategic military intervention. 

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USS Carney responds to distress call amid Houthi attacks 

The announcement of Operation Prosperity Guardian follows a distress call from the commercial vessel Swan Atlantic, attacked in the southern Red Sea. A US military official confirmed that the ship was targeted by "multiple projectiles," including a one-way attack drone and an anti-ship ballistic missile launched from a Houthi-controlled area in Yemen. The USS Carney, a US warship, promptly responded to the distress call, assessing the damage and providing assistance.

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Credit- AP

Simultaneously, another commercial ship in the Red Sea fell prey to Houthi militants. The Houthis claimed responsibility for both attacks, asserting a connection to Israel and issuing explicit threats against Israeli ports. In response to the deteriorating security situation, oil giant BP announced a temporary pause in all shipments through the Red Sea, highlighting the economic and strategic implications of the Houthi actions. 

US military response and regional dynamics 

The incident adds to the pattern of Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea. The USS Carney had previously intercepted and shot down 14 drones launched from Houthi-controlled areas, showcasing the persistent nature of the threat. In addition to the Red Sea, Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen have targeted the USS Mason in the Gulf of Aden, responding to a distress call from a commercial tanker attacked by armed individuals believed to be Somali. 

The US response to these attacks has included targeted military strikes in eastern Syria and Iraq, aimed specifically at weapons depots and storage facilities used by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its proxy militia groups. This military response underscores a broader regional dynamic, with the US actively countering threats emanating from multiple sources. 

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Operation Prosperity Guardian signifies a strategic collaboration among allied nations to address the evolving challenges posed by non-state actors in the maritime domain. As tensions escalate in the region, this military initiative underscores the importance of securing international waters and maintaining a robust defense posture in the Red Sea. The collaborative military effort signals a determined response to ensure the stability of this critical maritime corridor, emphasizing the necessity for coordinated military action to counter threats to global security. 

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Published December 19th, 2023 at 15:58 IST

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