US Navy says new force to patrol Red Sea amid attacks by Iran-backed Yemen rebels

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US Navy says new force to patrol Red Sea amid attacks by Iran-backed Yemen rebels
American-led international task force will protect shipping, target smuggling linked to terror groups in vital waterway; Israel not taking part in initiative for now
By Jon Gambrell

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The US Navy said Wednesday it will launch a new task force with allied countries to patrol the Red Sea after a series of attacks attributed to Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the waterway that’s essential to global trade. Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, who oversees the Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet, declined four times to directly name the Iran-backed Houthis in his remarks to journalists announcing the task force.

However, the Houthis have launched explosive-laden drone boats and mines into the waters of the Red Sea, which runs from Egypt’s Suez Canal in the north, down through the narrow Bab el-Mandeb Strait in the south that separates Africa from the Arabian Peninsula.

“In a macro sense, this region literally and figuratively fuels the world,” Cooper said. “The area is so vast that we just can’t do it alone so we’re going to be at our best when we partner.” The Combined Maritime Forces command, a 34-nation organization which Cooper oversees from a base in Bahrain, already has three task forces that handle piracy and security issues both inside and outside of the Persian Gulf.

more............. https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-na...sea-amid-attacks-by-iran-backed-yemen-rebels/
 
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