Netherlands Navy likely to send frigate to Middle East to fight Houthis


According to information published by BNR on January 17, 2024, the Netherlands has expressed its intention to provide a frigate for a European Union mission in the Red Sea, aimed at protecting ships from attacks by Houthi forces in Yemen.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Royal Netherlands Navy's De Zeven Provincien-class frigate HNLMS De Ruyter escorting a Russian frigate. (Picture source: Defensie)


The plan, as outlined by Kajsa Ollongren, the Acting Minister of Defence, is still under evaluation and will be discussed with the Dutch House of Representatives for approval. 

The Netherlands has already been actively contributing to security in the Red Sea, particularly through its support to two U.S.-led missions. The Dutch military has provided staff officers to the Prosperity Guardian mission, which focuses on protecting ships in the Red Sea. Additionally, they have participated in a joint mission with the U.S. and the UK, targeting Houthi positions in Yemen.

About Ops Prosperity Guardian

Operation Prosperity Guardian, initiated in December 2023, is a U.S.-led multinational effort established in response to the Houthi movement's attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.

This operation was announced by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin following the Houthi's blockade of Israel in the Red Sea and their assaults on vessels associated with Israel, coinciding with the Israel–Hamas war that began in October 2023.

The coalition, comprising over 20 nations with ten participating anonymously, was formed to safeguard international maritime commerce from Houthi threats. Notably, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, both heavily dependent on secure maritime routes, have not joined the coalition. Likewise, France, Italy, and Spain have opted out.

The coalition's mission is to ensure safe navigation and protect maritime traffic in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandeb, and Gulf of Aden. Since the onset of the Israel–Hamas conflict, several civilian ships in the Gulf of Aden have been attacked or hijacked by Houthi forces. The Houthis assert that their attacks target only Israel-linked vessels, though there have been incidents involving other ships.