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More than 20 countries join US-led coalition to counter Houthi attacks in Red Sea

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Washington: More than 20 countries have joined the US-led coalition aimed at boosting maritime security in the Red Sea amid a surge in Houthi attacks, US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) Commander Vice Admiral Brad Cooper said in a press briefing on Thursday.

“There’s more than 20 countries overall,” Cooper said. “Operationally, you know, just right now, the US, UK and France are providing the preponderance of these ships, and as mentioned, Greece and Denmark here in a couple weeks will complement that.”

In December, the US launched what it calls ‘Operation Prosperity Guardian,’ an international operation aimed at protecting commercial ships in the Red Sea from the attacks of Yemen’s Ansar Allah rebel movement, also known as the Houthis. The United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, the Seychelles, Spain and Italy will take part.

The Houthi rebels have said they will continue to prevent the passage in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea of ships linked to Israeli companies or bound for Israel until the country halts its military actions in the Gaza Strip.

Houthi rebels have attacked commercial vessels 23 times since since November 19, a US official said on Wednesday.

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