EU Launching Mission To Protect Merchant Ships From Houthis

The European Union (EU)plans to launch a full naval mission to the Red Sea next month to defend cargo ships from an Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist group.

EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell said yesterday that he expects the foreign ministers to sign off on the mission when they meet again on February 19 which would mean the mission could start in about three weeks.

“This is the purpose: protection of the ships. Intercepting of the attacks against the ships,” Borrell told reporters. “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. It’s affecting prices, it’s affecting inflation.”

The move from the EU came just after the most recent Houthi attack against a U.S. warship by firing several missiles that were each intercepted and destroyed. There were no injuries or damage from the attack, but the rebel group said they planned to continue targeting U.S. and British vessels.

According to the Daily Wire, the Iranian-backed Houthis have carried out more than 30 missile and drone attacks in the Red Sea since the Israel-Hamas war started in October. The group shows no signs of stopping.

“We are prepared for a long-term confrontation with the forces of tyranny. 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,” said Houthi commander Muhammad al-Attifi, also claiming all of Yemen is ready for war.

While the EU mission will add protection for cargo and merchant ships in the area, many are calling for the EU to do more.

“The EU has the wrong approach. Just striking the Houthis won’t do enough. We need mid and long-term solutions,” said Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak.

“They need to exercise more pressure on the Houthis, such as by designating them as a terrorist group. Their argument is that if they adopt this, then it will worsen the humanitarian situation. But this approach didn’t work. The Houthis are still blackmailing the international community and the humanitarian situation has not improved.”

Last week, according to the AP, U.S. and British forces combined to bomb Houthi targets in eight different sites across Yemen. It was the second time the two countries took part in coordinated retaliatory strikes against the rebels.