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Updated December 19th, 2023 at 13:27 IST

Red Sea crisis: US announces 10-nation coalition to fight Houthis

The United States announced a 10-nation coalition on Monday, to tackle Houthi's missile and drone attacks on the ships transiting through the Red Sea.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin testifies before a Senate Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington,
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin | Image:AP
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Bahrain: Amid the brewing tensions in the Red Sea, the United States announced a 10-nation coalition on Monday, to tackle Houthi's missile and drone attacks on the ships transiting through the Red Sea. According to the proclamation made by the US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, countries like the United Kingdom, France Bahrain and Italy will be part of the task force which will conduct the “multinational security initiative”. In a span of a few weeks, Iran-backed Houthi rebels have escalated attacks on tankers, cargo ships and other vessels in the Red Sea. These attacks have caused a major hindrance for cargo ships and other vessels that are operating on the crucial transit route for global 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,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement which was released on Monday night. “This is an international challenge that demands collective action. Therefore today I am announcing the establishment of Operation Prosperity Guardian, an important new multinational security initiative," he added. The member-nations that will undertake the operation include the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain. The task force will conduct joint patrols and will focus on gathering intelligence support in the Southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. 

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Some countries remain silent partners

According to The Times of Israel, several countries have agreed to support the group in this operation, however, they preferred not to be named publicly. The 10-nation mission will be coordinated by the already existing Combined Task Force 153. It is important to note that the aforementioned task force was set up in April 2022 and was aimed to improve maritime security in the Red Sea, Bab el-Mandeb and the Gulf of Aden. The CTF 153 comprises 39 member nations but the officials are yet to determine which of them would participate in the latest effort. 

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Not only this, the United States has also called on the United Nations Security Council to take action against the draconian attacks. On Monday,  US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield wrote a letter to the member nations mentioning that the Houthi attacks are targeting commercial vessels that are legally transiting in the international waterways. Following the letter, the 15 council members discussed the matter behind closed doors however, they are yet to take any immediate action on it.     

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Published December 19th, 2023 at 12:40 IST

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