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Australia rejects joining Red Sea operation against Houthis

The defense minister said that they would double their military personnel to 11 to participate in the operation.

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FILE PHOTO: Armed men stand on the beach as the Galaxy Leader commercial ship, seized by Yemen's Houthis last month, is anchored off the coast of al-Salif, Yemen, December 5, 2023. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah/File Photo

CANBERRA: The Australian government has rejected a US request to join the Red Sea operation against Houthis based in Yemen.

Being the closest ally to the United States, the decision to withdraw comes at a crucial time when the West is highly concerned about the crisis in the Middle East.

Australia to focus on the Indo-Pacific

The Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles justified the government’s decision and said the country remains committed to priorities in the Indo-Pacific.

Marles told Sky News that they will not send a “ship or a plane” to the Middle East and said, “Our strategic focus is our region,”

Australia sending only 11 soldiers

The defense minister said that they would double their military personnel to 11 to participate in the operation.

“Australia will increase our contribution to the Combined Maritime Force, including up to six additional ADF personnel as part of the US-led Operation PROSPERITY GUARDIAN”, he said.

Operation PROSPERITY GUARDIAN is US-led naval coalition of more than 20 countries to safeguard the red Sea against Houthi attacks

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