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Greece joins US-led coalition to safeguard Red Sea shipping amid Houthi threats

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In a televised address on Thursday, Greek Defence Minister Nikos Dendias announced that Greece, a major shipping nation, will deploy a warship to support the United States-led naval coalition in the Red Sea. This move comes in response to the escalating threats posed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels to maritime transport.

The US-proposed naval task force, known as Operation Prosperity Guardian, initially comprised 10 member nations, including the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, and Spain. Denmark has since joined the alliance, and European Union member states are contributing through the European Naval Force. Australia, while not committing warships, pledged 11 military personnel to support the mission.

The Houthis, aligned with Iran, have targeted vessels in the Red Sea, claiming connections to Israel amid the conflict in Gaza. Despite international efforts, the rebel group vows to persist with its attacks until Israel’s actions in Gaza cease. Houthi leader Abdel-Malik al-Houthi warned of retaliatory strikes on US warships if provoked, emphasizing their commitment to targeting American assets in the region.

Houthi drone attacks and attempted hijackings have already led numerous shipping firms to suspend operations in the Red Sea, a critical route for 12 percent of global trade. While Egypt has not formally joined the coalition, its foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, affirmed the collective responsibility of Red Sea nations to protect the waters, pledging Cairo’s commitment to ensuring freedom of navigation.

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