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Singapore becomes 1st Asian country to take part in Western naval operation in Red Sea.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to a tweet published by the Singapore Mindef on January 9, 2024, the Singapore Armed Forces have joined the international Operation Prosperity Guardian in the Red Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Officiers and sailors of the Republic of Singapore Navy. (Picture source: Singapore Mindef)

This decision comes in response to a series of unlawful attacks by Yemen-based Houthi forces on merchant ships, including the Singapore-flagged vessel MAERSK HANGZHOU.

Since January 9, 2024, Houthi forces have targeted approximately 20 merchant ships in the Red Sea using missiles and drones. These incidents have escalated business costs significantly, prompting rerouting of ships around southern Africa to avoid the risky Red Sea waters. Consequently, there has been about a one-third reduction in the number of vessels passing through the strategically crucial Bab el Mandeb Strait in recent weeks.

As part of the collaborative international effort to maintain the openness and safety of the Red Sea, Singapore has pledged its support to Operation Prosperity Guardian. This operation falls under the umbrella of the Combined Task Force 153, one of the five task forces of the 39-nation Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

The Singapore Armed Forces' involvement in this mission showcases the nation's commitment to international maritime security and its role in combating threats to critical global trade routes.

Navy Recognition comments

It is particularly worrying that, at present, only Western countries have decided to send ships. Moreover, Singapore and Bahrain, the only two non-Western countries, have sent men rather than ships.

While it's understandable that some countries don't want to be associated with the United States because of the conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip, or the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, we must remember that maritime security concerns the supply of all the world's countries. Indeed, the Red Sea is a main route for the movement of goods and ships, and we cannot allow a non-state group to threaten the whole world.


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