A high-ranking Yemeni official has warned the EU against "supporting the American devil to protect [Israel]" following the formal launch of the Aspides naval mission in the Red Sea. "For Europeans, do not play with fire. Take a lesson from Britain," Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a senior member of Yemen's Supreme Political Council, said via social media on Tuesday.

"You do not need the support of the American devil in protecting the occupying entity so that it can exterminate the people of Gaza with no disturbance," Houthi added, stressing that "international navigation is safe."

His message followed an announcement by Brussels of the official launch of the EU naval operation codenamed Aspides - Greek for shield.

"I welcome today's decision ... Europe will ensure freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, working alongside our international partners. Beyond crisis response, it's a step towards a stronger European presence at sea to protect our European interests," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said via social media.

Comment: The EU is becoming more and more like NATO on steroids if that is possible. The EU leadership is not serving the interests of their people and obviously don't ask for their opinions. Like in any pathocracy, they feel themselves apart from the people and only care for their own self-interests.

France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium have said they will contribute ships to the EU mission in support of Israel.

The bloc's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, described the mission as "bold action to protect the commercial and security interests of the EU and the international community."

With a mandate initially set for one year, Aspides will see the deployment of EU warships and airborne early warning systems to the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and surrounding waters. According to officials in Brussels, the mission will be exclusively defensive, and its forces will not partake in US-led attacks against Yemen.

Aspides came together after several NATO members proved hesitant or outright refused to join the floundering Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG).

Under the OPG umbrella, and in response to the pro-Palestine maritime campaign launched by Yemen late last year, the US and the UK have bombed Yemen hundreds of times since January 12, in violation of the country's sovereignty and international law.

According to US Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, Washington's conflict against Yemen in the Red Sea is one of the largest battles the US navy has fought since the end of World War II. "I think you'd have to go back to World War II where you have ships who are engaged in combat," Cooper told the CBS News' 60 Minutes in an interview broadcast Sunday. "When I say engaged in combat, where they're getting shot at, we're getting shot at, and we're shooting back," he continued.

Comment: It is a tiny battle actually but for the US it is unusual as the Houthis shoot back and are calling the US's bluff. It is clear that the US is not in control of this which is why the ships are massively deciding to avoid the Red Sea.

Cooper, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) deputy commander, revealed the Pentagon has committed about 7,000 sailors to the Red Sea. CBS reported that the US navy fired about 100 standard surface-to-air missiles against Yemeni missiles and drones.

Nevertheless, Washington's actions have done little to deter the Yemeni armed forces, who have continued to target commercial vessels in the Red Sea linked to Israel, the US, and the UK. In response to the US effort to rally allied countries for war against Yemen, officials in Sanaa have vowed that Yemen's armed forces would not back down.

"Yemen awaits the creation of the filthiest coalition in history to engage in the holiest battle in history. How will the countries that rushed to form an international coalition against Yemen to protect the perpetrators of Israeli genocide be perceived?" Ansarallah's Mohammed al-Bukhaiti said in December.

Via The Cradle