Middle East The United States calls a meeting with allies to seek support to defend the Red Sea

Attacks on ships in the Red Sea worry all allied countries

Middle East The United States calls a meeting with allies to seek support to defend the Red Sea

Attacks on ships in the Red Sea worry all allied countries. Aware that measures must be taken to address this problem, the United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, has invited a number of European Union countries to participate in a meeting to be held tomorrow at 7 a.m. telematic way. From Spain, it will be the Chief of the Defense Staff, Admiral Teodoro Esteban López Calderón, who will defend Spain's position.

As reported by Defense sources, it is known that at the meeting the United States wants to survey the Armed Forces of the different countries to find out their opinion on the possibility of participating in a surveillance and deterrence action in the Red Sea. Spain, individually, is not in favor of providing ships in a mission that would be bilateral with the United States. However, our country also has the suspicion that the presence of representatives of the European Union at the meeting may serve to put another type of mission on the table.

The European Union has had Operation Atalanta (EUNAVFOR) underway since 2008. This is a piracy deterrence and surveillance mission in the Indian Ocean that enjoys great international prestige thanks to the success of the operations. That is why it would seem reasonable for the United States to raise the possibility that the Atalanta would also extend through the waters of the Red Sea.

In that case, being a European operation, Spain could contribute the same strength as it does in EUNAVFOR. It is currently participating with the frigate Victoria and a complement of 350 soldiers deployed. At this moment, the Victoria is monitoring the situation of the Bulgarian merchant ship MV Ruen. She is dealing with a pirated ship in the Indian Ocean since the morning of December 14. The ship was sailing towards Turkey when she issued a safety advisory and the Victoria frigate was the closest EUNAVFOR frigate, which received the order to sail to the area. The 18 members of the merchant ship's crew are fine, but the pirates have taken command and the MV Ruen is captained by the pirates. Victoria follows them closely, coordinating the information. Defense sources assure that they are expected to be taken to a port dominated by pirates and from there their release will be negotiated.

The same sources suspect that the rise in piracy in the Indian Ocean three years after the last incident coincides with the attacks in the Red Sea for some reason, not by pure chance. They also recognize that sending force now to the Red Sea, whose situation will mainly affect Egypt, since it had control of the passage through the Suez Canal, to the detriment of surveillance of the Indian Ocean is almost impossible.