Belgian frigate departs on mission to Red Sea for European operation

Europe has begun carrying out missions in the Red Sea to safeguard trade flows. Belgium, one of the nine European countries participating in the operation, deployed the frigate Louise-Marie from Zeebrugge on Sunday in the presence of Defence minister Ludivine Dedonder. It will provide protection for container ships on the Red Sea shipping route.

Yemen's Houthi rebels have been carrying out attacks on container ships in the Red Sea since the end of last year. The Houthis, who support Palestine, want to hit maritime trade and thus increase pressure on the West to intervene in the conflict with Israel.

“You are trained for this," Dedonder said to the assembled troops before the frigate's departure. “You are protecting not only our economic interests but also human lives. This mission is not without risk, but trust each other, trust your commander and trust in what you have learned.”

At the request of the left-wing coalition parties, the deployment of the frigate is linked to a concrete position of Belgium in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Belgium is in support of a ceasefire and the opening of a humanitarian corridor in Gaza.

The Louise-Marie will also patrol the Strait of Hormuz, between Iran and the Gulf of Oman. The operation was established in 2020 in response to increasing insecurity and instability in the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz. The frigate crew will first undergo a few weeks of training, then be deployed in the Red Sea and end its mission in the Strait of Hormuz.


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Belgium to send military ship to Red Sea as part of European operation
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