US Announces Plans to Add Protection in the Red Sea

( – The US announced that they intend to expand maritime protections in the Red Sea by launching a new force partnered with Arab states to resist the recurring attacks from Yemeni ports on commercial shipping operations by the Houthi.

The Operation Prosperity Guardian was officially announced by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Monday, Dec. 18, during a visit to the Middle East. The defense force was organized with the intention of reassuring commercial shipping companies that their operations would not be interrupted by Houthi attacks and the Red Sea would remain protected so commercial shipping could continue. The large protection force will be similar to one stationed in Bahrain called Task Force 153, which the US has even been trying to persuade China to participate in.

The Houthis have been engaged in ongoing protests against Israel amid the Jewish state’s efforts to weed out and eliminate the radical Islamic group Hamas from the Palestinian territories. Israel’s military operations in Gaza began after Hamas attacked the nation on Oct. 7 and killed an estimated 1,200 people. Since launching their counteroffensive, nearly 20,000 more have died in the Gaza Strip. Austin met with Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv on Dec. 19 for a joint press conference and reassured the Jewish state that America continues to support their military efforts against Hamas while also looking for a way forward that will stabilize the region for Palestinians as well as Israelis.

Five major shipping companies, so far, have stopped using the Red Sea for their ships after multiple attacks by Houthis have interrupted operations. Several missiles and drones controlled by the Houthi have been shot down by the US, British, and French navies. The Houthis have promised to target any ship, regardless of nationality, that tries to make it into Israel’s ports.

A spokesperson for the Yemeni military said an “international alliance” established by the US in the region would “be the dirtiest alliance in history” and that “the world has not forgotten” America’s silence about “genocidal crimes” in the past. The Houthi movement’s leader also promised retaliation if the US directly intervened in Gaza.

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