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Sweden intends to participate in U.S. and EU operations in Red Sea

Sweden intends to participate in U.S. and EU operations in Red Sea Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström (photo: Getty Images)

Sweden intends to take part in the operations of the United States and the European Union in the Red Sea, states Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström.

Sweden is expected to take part in two operations: the U.S.-led Prosperity Guardian and the EU's Aspides, which has not yet been launched.

"The main task is to ensure the protection of civilian shipping from indiscriminate attacks by Houthi rebels that threaten to jeopardize vital parts of global trade. We share this responsibility with our partner countries," Billström said.

According to the Foreign Minister, the implementation of the plans is impossible without broad support in the Riksdag.

Attacks by Yemeni Houthis and the response of Western countries

Since November last year, the Yemeni Houthis have been regularly attacking commercial vessels in the Strait of Aden and the Red Sea with drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. The first attacks began immediately after the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas.

In response to the numerous attacks on merchant ships, on January 12, the United States and the United Kingdom launched missile strikes on military targets of the Houthi group in Yemen.

On January 17, the United States added the Houthis to the list of global terrorist organizations.

After more than a dozen strikes failed to stop the group's attack on foreign ships in the Red Sea, the White House began developing plans for a long military campaign against the Houthis.

On January 22, Josep Borrell said that the EU countries had reached a political agreement to launch the Aspides military operation to ensure the safety of commercial shipping in the Red Sea. The operation is supposed to put an end to Houthi attacks on commercial ships.