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Red Sea Mission of EU

Why is it in the news?

  • The European Union has initiated a Red Sea mission called Mission Aspides, with the objective of safeguarding shipping in the Red Sea region from Yemen鈥檚 Houthi rebels.

Objectives of Mission Aspides

  • Mission Aspides, set for an initial duration of one year, aims to safeguard civilian shipping in the Red Sea region.
  • It emphasizes the protection of vital maritime routes and ensures the safety of vessels transiting through the area.
  • The mission explicitly states that no attacks will be conducted on Yemeni soil, aiming to mitigate civilian casualties and collateral damage.

Need for a Mission in the Red Sea Region

Disruption of Shipping Lanes by Houthis:

  • Since November 2023, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, controlling significant portions of war-torn Yemen, have been disrupting the crucial shipping lane in the Red Sea region.
  • Their actions have posed a threat to maritime traffic, affecting global trade and security in the region.

Solidarity with Palestinians:

  • The Houthis justify their actions as a show of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza during the Israel-Hamas conflict.
  • Their attacks on shipping in the Red Sea are seen as part of their broader geopolitical agenda and regional influence.

Recent Attacks on U.S. Ship:

  • A Greek-flagged cargo ship owned by the United States was attacked twice in the Gulf of Aden, near the Red Sea, highlighting the escalating tensions and security risks in the region.
  • These attacks underscore the urgency for international intervention to protect civilian shipping and maintain stability in the Red Sea.
About the Red Sea

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean situated between Africa and Asia.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 It is linked to the Indian Ocean in the south via the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The northern border of the Red Sea includes the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Countries bordering the Red Sea include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The strategic location of the Red Sea makes it a critical maritime passage for international trade and commerce.


路聽聽聽聽聽聽 About 80% of the outbound shipments to Europe take place through the Red Sea region.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 It is vital for 30% of global container traffic and 12% of global trade.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The disruption has led to an increase in freight costs, insurance premiums, and longer transit times, potentially making imported goods significantly more expensive.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 It could significantly impact聽India鈥檚 exports to Europe.

About the Houthis

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The Houthis are a rebel group involved in a prolonged civil war with the Yemeni government for nearly a decade.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 They control significant territories in northern Yemen, including the official capital, Sanaa, while the Yemeni government operates from Aden.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The Houthis are named after the Houthi tribe and adhere to Zaydi Shia beliefs, a branch of Shia Islam.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The group is backed by Iran, which provides them with military and financial support.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Conversely, the Yemeni government is supported by Saudi Arabia and Western countries, leading to a complex geopolitical landscape in the region.


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