Yemen strikes are ‘consequences’ of Houthi Red Sea attacks, Canada says

Strikes against Houthi targets by the United States and the United Kingdom in Yemen are the “consequences” of the rebel group’s attacks in the Red Sea, Canada says.

Canada joined Australia, Bahrain and the Netherlands in providing support for the strikes. Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly and Defence Minister Bill Blair said in a statement Friday that Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel deployed with U.S. Central Command supported the operation.

“Canada condemns the reckless Houthi attacks against commercial ships and crew operating in the Red Sea. They directly impact the flow of food, fuel, humanitarian assistance and other essential commodities to populations around the world, which can affect the global economy,” the ministers said.

“We call on Houthis to cease their attacks immediately, and reiterate that they bear the consequences of their actions. We remain committed to working with our partners in the Middle East to help advance sustainable peace and security in the region.”

A CAF spokesperson told Media the force’s contributions consists of two planners and one intelligence analyst who specializes in the region. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Guelph, Ont., Friday that Canada did not have “operational assets” involved in the strike.

“The international community had a responsibility to step up, as laid out by UN Security Council resolutions, and we support the very targeted actions taken by military assets from the U.K. and the U.S.,” he said at a press conference in Toronto.

The Houthis are an Iran-backed rebel group that has been attacking western commercial and military vessels in the Red Sea in opposition to Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

The attacks have impacted global shipping, as the Red Sea is a vital trade route linking Asia to Europe and North America. Close to 15 per cent of the world’s goods flow through the sea.

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