Red Sea Mission of EU

Red Sea Mission of EU

News: Recently, the European Union (EU) has launched a naval mission to protect Red Sea shipping from Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

About the Red Sea Mission:
• It comes in response to a series of attacks on commercial vessels, disrupting maritime traffic, hampering trade, and driving up prices.
• It is named as Aspides (Greek for ‘shield’) aims to safeguard the vital shipping lane of the Red Sea.
• It aims to provide maritime situational awareness, accompany vessels, and protect them against possible multi-domain attacks at sea.
• Unlike the U.S. and British forces, which have conducted retaliatory strikes on the Houthis, the EU mission will not partake in any military strikes and will only operate at sea.

Red Sea:
• It is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia.
• Its connection to the ocean is in the south, through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden.
• To its north lie the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez (leading to the Suez Canal).
• The sea separates the coasts of Egypt, Sudan, and Eritrea to the west from those of Saudi Arabia and Yemen to the east.
• It is home to a kaleidoscopic ecosystem teeming with life.

Importance:
• About 80% of the outbound shipments to Europe take place through the Red Sea region.
• It is vital for 30% of global container traffic and 12% of global trade.
• The disruption has led to an increase in freight costs, insurance premiums, and longer transit times, potentially making imported goods significantly more expensive. 

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