“The operation in the Red Sea is starting, Italy will have operational command. We strongly wanted it and found the immediate support of France and Germany. After the completion of the political agreement between foreign ministers there was operational between defense ministers. The destroyer Caio Duilio will be present and will join the other frigates already engaged in the Atalanta anti-piracy mission”. Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said this speaking on board the Vulcano ship in La Spezia.
“The command at sea will be the prerogative of an Italian admiral – he underlined -. He will have the task of protecting the safety of our ships, in the event of drone or missile attacks, from Hormuz to Suez. There will also be French and German planes and other European navies could be added.”
The European mission in the Red Sea “will be naval and air” and “we will have the operational command of the mission at sea”, explained Tajani, speaking at the Med Dialogues Extraordinary expert meeting underway in Rome. “They will not be escort missions, but operational defense: if there is an attack we react”, added the minister, specifying that “the rules of engagement are for military reaction to missile or maritime attacks”
Tehran announces naval maneuvers with China and Russia
Iran, Russia and China will organize joint naval maneuvers in March with the aim of strengthening regional security: this was stated by the commander of the Iranian Navy Shahram Irani, adding that other countries have also been invited to participate in the exercise .
“The most important objective of the Iranian Navy is to preserve and protect economic interests and resources
of the country”, underlined the commander, as reported by Mehr. “The naval forces of the Iranian army have the duty to protect Iranian shipping and to help countries that need support to be safe and protected”, he added .
Last March, the three countries held their fourth joint naval exercise in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean.
Houthis threaten retaliation against the US, UK and Saudis
The Foreign Ministry of the Houthis, the Iran-backed group that governs part of Yemen, said that the US and Britain had launched around 300 air strikes on the country: ‘America is attacking us and cannot escape punishment’, he threatened. This was reported by Al Masirah, the website of the Houthi-owned TV channel. The Houthi deputy foreign minister said: “‘US-Saudi mercenaries, you are at a crossroads, there is no room for tolerance with those who are on the side of Israel or America.'”
For his part, Mohammed Al-Hashimi, deputy transport minister of the Houth group, denied that there are problems in shipping cargo in the Red Sea due to the Houthi attacks, attributing responsibility for any risks to the United States and Great Britain : “Commercial maritime transport in the Red Sea remains normal despite threats from US and British warships,” he said, as reported by Houthi-owned Al Masirah TV. And he added: “Commercial ships and carriers receive daily threats from the US and British navies, warning against crossing the Red Sea.”