The Netherlands has fully backed the US and British armed forces’ strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen, describing the Shiite rebels’ attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden as in “clear violation of international law” and a “threat to maritime personnel and trade flows”.
“The Netherlands, with its long history as a sea-faring country, places significant importance on the right of free passage and supports this targeted operation,” prime minister Mark Rutte said on social media.
The Netherlands, Canada, Bahrain, and Australia also had a supporting role in the action according to a joint statement by the governments of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Britain, and the United States. The statement did not give further details.
However, Dutch foreign minister Hanke Bruins Slot and defence minister Kajsa Ollongren told MPs in a briefing the Dutch support is “non operational military support” which consists of “one staff officer”.
The importance of the operation to the Dutch presence and Dutch interests in the area was taken into account in the decision-making process, they said.
The Houthis have carried out more than two dozen attacks on commercial vessels since mid-November.
“Our aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea, but let our message be clear: we will not hesitate to defend lives and protect the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways in the face of continued threats,” the joint statement said.
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