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Germany approves military participation in EU's Red Sea mission

German warship Hessen is leaving port headed to the Red Sea from Wilhelmshaven, Germany, on February 8, 2024. (Photo by Reuters)


The German government has agreed to deploy its armed forces to the Red Sea to take part in a European Union naval mission against Yemeni armed forces.

The decision comes as Yemen’s armed forces have been targeting Israeli ships and those bound for Israeli ports since November in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza which has been subject to five months of brutal military aggression.

"The ongoing escalation of violence and the threat to life and limb of the crews of ships, particularly in the southern Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, require a robustly equipped military operation," the spokesperson of the German government said during a regular press conference in Berlin on Friday.

Parliament, however, must also approve any foreign deployment of Germany‘s armed forces.

The spokesperson said the parliamentarians are to receive a motion for a mandate running up till the end of February 2025 with an upper limit of 700 soldiers deployed.

The parliamentary vote on the matter is scheduled for next Friday.

Early this month, a German air defense frigate was sent to join the EU mission. France, Greece and Italy are among the countries that are sending warsips to participate in the mission named EUNAVFOR Aspides, or protection shields.

The European military forces claim they want to protect the vessels largely shipping fuel to Europe.

The Yemeni operations have prompted some shipping companies to detour around southern Africa to avoid the Red Sea, which normally carries about 12 percent of global maritime trade.

The Yemeni army says only Israeli, US and British ships are targeted, stating that other countries can rest assured of the safety of their cargoes.

Yemen has declared an open war against US and British interests since the two countries launched a military campaign against the Arab country in support of Israel. 

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