The Pentagon has announced that over 20 countries, under the leadership of the United States, have joined a coalition to safeguard Red Sea shipping from attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Major General Pat Ryder emphasized that the Iran-backed Houthis are threatening the economic well-being of nations globally, acting as “bandits along the international highway that is the Red Sea.”
The coalition’s primary objective is to patrol the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, responding to and assisting commercial vessels transiting this vital international waterway. Ryder called on the Houthis to cease their attacks, characterizing them as a threat to the stability of the region and the safety of maritime trade.
This coalition formation is a response to the repeated Houthi strikes on Red Sea shipping. The rebels claim these attacks are in support of Palestinians in Gaza amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. The United States took the lead in announcing the multinational coalition on Monday, signaling a coordinated effort to address the security concerns in the region.
Amid escalating tensions, the Houthis warned two days later that they would retaliate if attacked. The situation underscores the complex geopolitical dynamics and the broader implications of regional conflicts on international maritime security. The coalition’s establishment reflects a concerted effort by the international community to ensure the safe passage of vessels through critical waterways while addressing the root causes of the conflict in the region.