Asia PacificMiddle EastWar

Australia to Deploy More Warfighters to Support US, UK Against Houthis

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has announced an increase in personnel support for the US and UK to defend against Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.

The crisis in the region began in late 2023 after the Iran-backed group started targeting Israeli-linked vessels in support of Palestinians in Gaza, where Israel is battling militant group Hamas.

Under Canberra’s initiative, the ADF will deploy its newly formed Operation Hydranth group to help mitigate the conflict in Yemen through strike action support.

Soldiers selected for this mission will be stationed at US operational headquarters throughout the mission.

Upholding ‘Stability’

In its press release, Australia’s defense ministry said the government would aid partner forces to sustain “international rules and norms” across the globe.

“The ongoing attacks by Houthi rebels continue to threaten the safety of seafarers, navigational rights and freedoms, and international commerce and maritime security,” Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles stated.

“Australia will continue to work with our international partners to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea.”

Support From ADF in Bahrain

Canberra highlighted that Hydranth is a separate project from ADF’s Combined Maritime Forces.

These Manama-based troops are under Operation Manitou which focuses on maritime security in the Middle East and East Africa

In an interview with ABC in January, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed that Manitou had contributed to US and UK airstrikes against the Houthis.

A US soldier reader strikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen
A US soldier reader strikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Photo: US Central Command via X

“We have sent the help that is required. We have operational support there at headquarters in Bahrain,” Albanese said.

“We always give proper and considered analysis and act in Australia’s national interest, and that’s been the basis of our support up to this point. Of course, our concentration is on the Indo-Pacific, which is something that is supported by our allies.”

“We had people before the Houthi attack. Since then, we’ve increased the number of personnel that are involved in that operation.”

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