Germany’s F-124 Gessen frigate to join EU mission in Red Sea against Houthi attacks

Germany’s F-124 Gessen frigate
Germany’s F-124 Gessen frigate

Germany intends to send the F-124 Gessen frigate to the Red Sea on Feb. 1 as part of a new EU mission to protect maritime trade from attacks by Yemeni Houthi rebels, German newspaper Welt reported on Jan. 14.

The frigate is equipped for radio reconnaissance, capable of simultaneously detecting 1,000 targets, armed with anti-aircraft missiles, and can deploy attack helicopters.

Read also: Russia convenes urgent UN Security Council Meeting over U.S. strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen

Previously, the frigate participated in NATO exercises in the North Sea and the Arctic to deter Russia. A new EU mission may be approved at the EU foreign ministers’ meeting on Feb. 19, starting operations in the Red Sea by the end of February, reports Welt.

The crisis in the Red Sea, linked to Houthi attacks, intensified over the weekend. On Jan. 13, US military launched a new strike on the Houthi radar station from the Carney aircraft carrier with Tomahawk missiles.

Read also: US warns of ‘appropriate responses’ after blaming Iran for attacks on commercial ships in Red Sea

This follows the U.S. and UK strikes on Jan 12 aimed at weakening the Houthi capability to attack ships in the Red Sea, hitting 60 targets with the support of 10 countries.

The Houthis deemed the strikes “unjustified,” and the operation was condemned by Iran, Russia, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

The Houthis stated their intent to continue attacking ships in the Red Sea, prompting a warning from the White House that the U.S. would take further action if necessary.

They have been targeting ships in the Red Sea since November 2023, with over 20 attacks on commercial vessels. The attacks occur in the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, controlled by the Houthis, through which ships pass to reach the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, and the Mediterranean.

The Houthis claim their attacks on this vital shipping route are an attempt to stop Israel’s attacks on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, asserting that they only target ships “associated with Israel.”

In December, the US initiated Operation Prosperity Guardian in response to systematic attacks, protecting maritime traffic in the region. According to the U.S., 1,200 commercial vessels have passed through the Red Sea since the start of the operation.

Read also: Four Ukrainian sailors held by Houthis – Zelenskyy

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