Very high voltage in Red Sea, the European Union is moving. After announcing the European Aspides mission, Brussels decided to entrust the tactical command to Italy. The confirmation came directly from the Minister of Defense Guido Crosetto: “The European Union, today, asked Italy to provide the Force Commander of the Aspides Operation in the Red Sea (the admiral officer who exercises command on board of the naval assets participating in the operation). The importance and urgency of Operation Aspides, which will help guarantee the free navigation and safety of commercial traffic in the Red Sea, have led the Italian Defense to immediately ensure its support”. The Defense Minister remarked that the EU decision represents “further recognition of the commitment of the Government and Defense and of the competence and professionalism of the Navy”.
Aspides will be a defensive mission and not just an accompanying one, he reiterated Antonio Tajani. The head of the Farnesina confirmed the rumors about the possible headquarters in Larissa, Greece, or France, but a rotation cannot be ruled out. For the Foreign Minister it is not so much who will be in command, but what he will do, underlining the importance of the intervention: “We are a country devoted to exports: 40% of maritime exports pass through the Suez Canal. It is in our interest to do everything to protect merchant ships. It will be a defensive mission: we will not attack the Houthis in Yemen.” There The government’s priority is to protect Italian maritime traffic and our shipsspecifying that there will be no attack against the rebels – equated with Hamas militiamen – in Yemen: “We will only defend the ships also using weapons to shoot down drones or missiles against our merchant ships”.
The climate in the Red Sea is scorching hot and it would be a mistake to underestimate the threat. In recent days, Minister Crosetto stated that the Yemeni militiamen are worth ten times Hamas from a military point of view and with their attacks on navigation they are able to threaten the economic stability of Italy and Europe, creating a competitive imbalance in favor of China and Russia: “The traffic of Russia and China, by express will of the Houthis, will be able to continue to pass through the Red Sea and this creates a competitive imbalance that will impact us and our economies in a violent and asymmetric way. The ones who will pay the price will be above all “Europe and in particular the countries on the southern shore such as Italy due to the marginalization of the Mediterranean, which is why we need to act immediately and effectively to affirm international law and the free transit of goods”.
They have also been recorded in the last few hours attacks. Backed by Iran, the Houthis said they conducted an assault with ballistic missiles towards Eilatin the south ofIsrael. “The missile force of the Yemeni Armed Forces carried out a military operation against specific targets of the Israeli enemy in the area of Umm al Rashrash (Eilat), in the south of occupied Palestine, with a series of ballistic missiles,” the words of the military spokesperson of the Houthis, Yahya Saree, in a statement relaunched by the Beirut-based television station “Al Masirah”. The Israeli IDF military confirmed that the “Arrow” air defense system “successfully intercepted a surface-to-surface missile approaching Israeli territory in the Red Sea area”. Always alive the front with the United States and Great Britain: Yemeni rebel naval forces announced on Thursday that they had targeted a “British merchant ship” in the Red Sea. Yesterday the response from Washington and London: at least seven air strikes against the province of Hajjah, in the north-west of Yemen, in a new bombing against rebel positions. Further updates coming soon.