As part of an international coalition to boost maritime security in the Red Sea, New Zealand will be deploying a six-member defence group to the Middle East, PM Christopher Luxon mentioned on Tuesday. Britain and the United States have been sharing air strikes against the Iranian-led Houthi group in Yemen, who have been targeting civilian vessels in the Red Sea for weeks in what they say is a protest against Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip.
Houthi attacks launched against commercial as well as naval shipping are unlawful, unacceptable, and also profoundly destabilizing, Luxon mentioned during a media briefing. The deployment continues New Zealand’s history of defending freedom of navigation in the Middle East and closer to home.
The British and U.S. forces conducted a new round of strikes on Monday, targeting an underground Houthi storage site as well as surveillance and missile capabilities, the Pentagon mentioned. The Houthi attacks have reportedly disrupted worldwide shipping and stoked fears of global inflation. They have deepened concerns that fallout from the Israel-Hamas war would help destabilize the Middle East.
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