Tuesday, December 19, 2023

US-led Red Sea Protection Force

 The Associated Press published on 19 December 2023 an article titled "Pentagon Announces New International Maritime Protection Force for the Red Sea."

At any given time, there are about 400 commercial vessels transiting the southern Red Sea in an area where Iranian-supported and Yemen-based Houthis are attacking commercial shipping with drones and ballistic missiles.  Consequently, the United States has organized Operation Prosperity Guardian to protect all ships transiting the Red Sea.  So far, the UK, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, and Spain have joined the security mission. 

One notably absent participant is China, which has three PLA Navy ships (usually two frigates and a supply ship) permanently assigned in the area.  So far, those ships have not responded to previous calls for assistance by commercial vessels even though some of the ships attacked have had ties to Hong Kong.