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Red Sea (Mission Aspides)

Mapping

 

Source: TH

 Context: The European Union launched a naval mission named Mission Aspides to protect shipping in the Red Sea from attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who claim solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

The mission, involving at least four vessels, aims to ensure freedom of navigation, responding to the Houthis’ disruption of vital shipping lanes since November.

Previously, the US had launched Operation Prosperity Guardian with a similar mission.

Vessels passing through the Red Sea are vulnerable to attacks due to its strategic importance as a global shipping lane connecting the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal to the Indian Ocean. Its narrowness and proximity to conflict zones, particularly Yemen (where the Houthi rebels operate) and Somalia (for Piracy), make it susceptible to maritime threats.