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Mission Aspides

Mission Aspides:

The European Union recently launched Mission Aspides to protect commercial vessels in the Red Sea from attacks by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

  • Mission Aspides is a European Union (EU) naval mission to protect cargo ships in the Red Sea from attacks from Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
  • It will send European warships and airborne early warning systems to the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and surrounding waters.
  • So far, France, Germany, Italy and Belgium have said they plan to contribute ships.
  • Aspides vessels, whose operational command centre will be in the Greek city of Larissa, will have orders to fire on the Houthis only if they attack first and will not be authorised to shoot pre-emptively.
  • The mission is planned for one year but may be renewed.
  • Red Sea is a semi-enclosed inlet(or extension) of the Indian Ocean between the continents of Africa and Asia.
  • It is one of the world’s warmest seas.
  • It is connected to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean to the south through the Gulf of Adenand the narrow strait of Bab El-Mandeb.
  • The northern portion of the Red Sea is bifurcated by the Sinai Peninsula into the Gulf of Aqaba and the Gulf of Suez, where it is connected to the Mediterranean Sea via the famous Suez Canal.