NewsIndian navy flexes muscle in the Gulf of Aden and dispatches 10 warships to counter Houthi attacks

Indian navy flexes muscle in the Gulf of Aden and dispatches 10 warships to counter Houthi attacks

Indian warships (illustrative picture)
Indian warships (illustrative picture)
Images source: © Getty Images | Oleksii Hlembotskyi
5:32 AM EST, January 25, 2024

On Wednesday, Yemeni Houthi rebels launched another attack on ships in the southern Red Sea area, firing three missiles at the American container ship Maersk Detroit. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby reported that two of the missiles were shot down, and the third one missed by hundreds of miles.

This incident elicited a response from India, which maintains warships in the region to react to situations involving other ships. Just last week, the destroyer INS Visakhapatnam answered a distress call from the American bulk carrier Genco Picardy, which was under drone attack in the Gulf of Aden, as reported by Kommersant.

But this time, India decided to flex its naval muscle. Even though India is not part of the coalition spearheaded by the United States to ensure safe civilian navigation in the Red Sea, it dispatched additional units to the Gulf of Aden.

Sources cited by The Wall Street Journal indicate that India deployed 10 warships from the Northern and Central Arabian Sea to the area, contrasting with the usual presence of just two ships.

"India is ramping up its deployment of warships to guard against rebel attacks on the merchant vessels in the Middle East while simultaneously refraining from joining the official forces led by the United States in the Red Sea, in an attempt to safeguard its ties with Iran," reads one analysis.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the surge in India's activity seems to imply strengthening cooperation with the United States in the Indo-Pacific region as a counterbalance to China, which seeks to establish a naval presence under the guise of protecting trade routes.

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