NATO navy france warship
© French navyNATO forces have been unable to deter the pro-Palestine operations of the Yemeni armed forces despite heavily militarizing the Red Sea
France's Aquitaine-class FREMM frigate Alsace has turned tail from the Red Sea after running out of missiles and munitions repelling attacks from the Yemeni armed forces, according to its commander, Jerome Henry.

"We didn't necessarily expect this level of threat. There was an uninhibited violence that was quite surprising and very significant. [The Yemenis] do not hesitate to use drones that fly at water level, to explode them on commercial ships, and to fire ballistic missiles," Henry told French news outlet Le Figaro in an exclusive interview published on 11 April.

Comment: Commercial ships only serving genocidal nations.

"We had to carry out at least half a dozen assistances following [Yemeni] strikes," he added.

The commander of the Alsace also revealed that, after a 71-day deployment, all combat equipment was depleted.

"From the Aster missile to the 7.62 machine gun of the helicopter, including the 12.7mm, 20mm, or 76mm cannon, we dealt with three ballistic missiles and half a dozen drones," Henry adds.

According to the French commander, the Franco-Italian Aster missile - each carrying a price tag of up to $2 million - "was pushed to its limits" by the Yemeni armed forces, as the Alsace had to use it "on targets that we did not necessarily imagine at the start."

Henry added that Sanaa has markedly increased its use of ballistic missiles after relying mainly on suicide drones at the start of the country's pro-Palestine operations in the Red Sea and stressed that the French Navy has not faced such a tough battle since NATO collectively launched its 2011 war on Libya to depose the late ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

"I was there too. It wasn't the same thing. It has been even longer since we have engaged with this level of weaponry and violence. The threat to the boat was much greater in the Red Sea," Henry notes.

The Alsace entered the Red Sea in late January, a few weeks after the US and the UK launched an illegal war on Yemen to protect Israeli shipping interests. The frigate was deployed as part of the EU naval operation Aspides - Greek for shield.

With a mandate initially set for one year, Aspides saw the deployment of several EU warships and airborne early warning systems to the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and surrounding waters. According to authorities in Brussels, the mission is exclusively defensive, and its forces are not taking part 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), which a top US commander called one of the largest battles the navy has fought since the end of World War II.

"We favor a diplomatic solution. We know that there is no military solution," US Special Envoy for Yemen Timothy Lenderking said earlier this month, acknowledging the futility of Washington's military strategy against the Arab world's poorest country.

According to Yemeni sources who spoke with The Cradle, US officials recently offered Sanaa "an acknowledgment of its legitimacy" in exchange for its neutrality in the ongoing war on Gaza.

"[Washington] pledged to repair the damages, remove foreign forces from all occupied Yemeni lands and islands, and remove Ansarallah from the State Department's 'terrorism list' - as soon as they stop their attacks in support of Gaza," The Cradle columnist Khalil Nasrallah cited the sources as saying.

The offer also includes "severely reducing" the role of the Saudi-appointed Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) and "accelerating the signing of a roadmap" with the Saudi-led coalition to end the nine-year war that has decimated Yemen.

Nevertheless, Yemeni officials have maintained that their operations in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean will continue until Israel stops the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.

"From the coast of the Red Sea or from outside it, we can achieve the goals we want in defense of our country and support of Palestine ... We still have many military surprises, and there are military operations that we are keeping secret as part of a specific media strategy," Mohammad Ali al-Houthi, a senior member of Yemen's Supreme Political Council, announced on 3 April.