Houthi militia: Frigate “Hessen” fends off attack in the Red Sea

The frigate used in the Red Sea to protect merchant ships Hesse has repelled attacks by the Yemeni Houthi militia. It was the first use of live weapons by the German Navy as part of the EU mission Aspides. According to the Bundeswehr, the frigate shot down two drones. There were no injuries or damage to property on the German frigate, said a message on X.

The German Bundestag had agreed to the operation last Friday. It is considered the most dangerous naval mission in the history of the Bundeswehr.

The Iran-backed Houthi militia wants to force an end to Israeli attacks on terrorist Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip by attacking merchant ships in the Red Sea. The sea route through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal is one of the most important maritime trade routes in the world. Because of the attacks in recent months, major shipping companies are increasingly avoiding the shortest sea route between Asia and Europe. The international military presence in the region, including by the USA and Great Britain, is intended to protect merchant shipping traffic. The military makes drones and missiles almost every day Houthis harmless or shells their positions.

The Hesse had already set off from Wilhelmshaven towards the operational area before the vote in the Bundestag – with the aim of being able to fulfill its mission immediately after the Bundestag decision. Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) said the operation would make the region more stable. “But we also have to be clear: the use of the Hesse is one of the most dangerous for the German Navy in decades.”

Last week, the Houthi militia announced that it wanted to expand attacks on merchant ships off the country’s coast. The conflict is being escalated in response to Israel’s escalation in the Gaza Strip, said the group’s leader, Abdel-Malik al-Houthi, in a televised speech. So far 48 ships have been attacked. He also announced the use of underwater weapons.

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