The European Union has officially agreed to contribute to a US-led coalition aimed at countering Yemeni armed forces that have been targeting ships destined for Israel in solidarity with Gaza. The decision was made during a meeting led by Josep Borrell, the EU high representative for foreign affairs.
Borrell announced the EU's commitment to intensify information sharing and deploy additional naval assets, emphasizing the bloc's role as a provider of maritime security. The move aligns with a recent call by Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin for Western unity against Yemeni attacks on Israel-bound ships in the Red Sea.
The Pentagon had earlier unveiled a military coalition involving 10 countries, including the US, Britain, and Spain, to address the Yemeni threat. However, Western nations have shown divided opinions on joining the coalition. Italy is sending a warship, France is expressing interest but undecided, and Spain clarified it is not participating without the backing of NATO or the EU.
Germany requires parliamentary approval to participate, as the coalition involves the potential use of force outside the frameworks of the EU, NATO, or the United Nations.
Recent seaborne strikes by Yemeni forces, conducted in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, have prompted Yemen to warn of preventing ships' passage in the Red Sea bound for occupied territories. The Bab el-Mandeb Strait, a critical waterway, plays a crucial role in the transit of goods between Yemen, northeast Africa, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, and the Israeli port of Eilat.
Yemen's Ansarullah movement dismissed US plans for a coalition, with its leader, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, warning of targeting US military vessels in the Red Sea if military strikes occur. Al-Houthi also accused Britain of responsibility for Israeli aggression since the Balfour Declaration in 1917.
In response, Hamas supported Yemen's actions, conveying a message to the West to halt ongoing violence or face a potential regional crisis.