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U.S. expands maritime security forces in Red Sea due to Houthi attacks

U.S. expands maritime security forces in Red Sea due to Houthi attacks The U.S. to strengthen maritime security in the Red Sea (photo: Wikimedia)

The U.S. is soon to announce the creation of expanded maritime security forces, with the participation of Arab states, aimed at countering Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, according to The Guardian.

The creation of forces, preliminarily named Operation Prosperity Guardian, is expected to be announced by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during his visit to the Middle East. A similar operational group is already in operation in Bahrain.

It is claimed that the United States sought to persuade China to join the expanded maritime security forces, but some officials believe they have secured the participation of Jordan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, and Bahrain.

Five major shipping companies have already suspended the use of their vessels in the Red Sea following attacks by Yemeni Houthi rebels.

Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea

Since the beginning of November, Yemeni Houthi rebels have been conducting attacks in the Red Sea on merchant ships allegedly linked to Israel. It's worth noting that the armed Houthi group supports Hamas in their conflict against Israel.

Last month, the Houthis seized the cargo ship Galaxy Leader with an international civilian crew flying the flag of the Bahamas.

On December 10, the Houthis warned all international shipping companies that they would attack all ships heading to Israel.

On December 16, a British destroyer successfully intercepted a Sea Viper missile, launched by an unmanned aerial vehicle attempting to attack a merchant ship in the Red Sea.