Almost a day after the US and British attacks on targets in Yemen EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrel made a statement on behalf of the community, in which he did not mention the actions of Washington and London. In a released statement, he called on the Houthis to show restraint and noted that states have the right to protect their ships.
“The EU welcomes the adoption of the United Nations Security Council resolution 2722 of 10 January that is strongly condemning Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping. Upholding freedom of navigation in the Red Sea is vital to the free flow of global commerce and regional security. As recalled by UNSC resolution 2722, States have the right to defend their vessels against these attacks in accordance to international law,” the document says.
“The EU urges restraint by the Houthis to avoid further escalation in the Red Sea and the broader region. In this context, the EU recalls the obligation of all States to respect the arms embargo under the UN Security Council resolution 2216 (2015),” Borrel added.
According to Borrel, “the EU echoes UN Security Council demand that these attacks, which impede global commerce and undermine navigational rights as well as regional peace and security, cease immediately.”
“The EU will continue to contribute to regional stability,” the head of the EU diplomacy concluded.
Earlier, US President Joe Biden confirmed the strikes by the UK and the US on the night of January 12 against rebel positions in Yemen. As the statement released by the White House press office indicated, the operation was carried out by “US military forces — together with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands” in response to the “unprecedented Houthi attacks” in the Red Sea. The targets included missile sites, UAVs and Houthi radar stations.
Following the escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis announced that they would strike Israeli territory and prevent any ships tied to the country from passing through the waters of the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait until the operation in the Palestinian enclave was halted. The US military’s Central Command estimates that the Houthis have attacked more than 20 civilian vessels in the Red Sea since mid-November.