19 February 2024


As of October 2023, several Houthi attacks have targeted vessels in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman, jeopardising the life of civilians on merchant and commercial vessels and violating the freedom of the high seas and of the right of transit passage.

In response, on the 19th of February, the Council launched EUNAVFOR ASPIDES, a defensive maritime security operation aimed at restoring and safeguarding freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and the Gulf.

The operation will ensure an EU naval presence in the areas above-mentioned and will provide maritime situational awareness, accompany vessels, and protect them against possible multi-domain attacks at sea.