In response to media queries regarding Singapore’s involvement in the military strikes against the Houthis in Yemen, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has clarified that the nation did not participate in the operations.
Instead, Singapore is actively contributing personnel to Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG), an international effort focused on maritime security in the Red Sea.
STATEMENT FROM MINDEF :
Singapore is contributing personnel to Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG), an effort under the ambit of the multinational Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force 153: Red Sea Maritime Security. Involving over 20 countries, OPG focuses on efforts to protect shipping vessels against security threats, such as through information sharing and maritime patrols.
OPG is unrelated to the military strikes against the Houthis.
US and UK Launch Strikes on Houthi Targets in Yemen
On Thursday, January 11, 2024, the US and UK militaries carried out strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen. The military action came in response to the Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, and the airstrikes were aimed at de-escalating tensions and restoring stability to the region.
US President Joe Biden announced the strikes, stating that they were a direct response to the unprecedented attacks on international maritime vessels by the Iran-backed militant group. Biden emphasized that further measures would be taken if necessary to protect people and maintain the free flow of international commerce.
The British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, described the strikes as an act of self-defense, highlighting the goal of de-escalating tensions. He emphasized the importance of restoring stability to the region.
The US Air Forces Central Commander, Lt. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, revealed that the airstrikes targeted over 60 locations using more than 100 precision-guided munitions. The Houthi assets hit included command and control nodes, munitions, depots, launching systems, production facilities, and air defense radar systems. Later, another 12 locations were hit in a near immediate decision following the initial strikes, according to Director of the Joint Staff Lt. Gen. Douglas Sims II.
However, the strikes have been met with condemnation from various leaders across the Middle East. The rebel group’s military spokesperson, Yahya Sare’e, stated that despite the airstrikes, the Houthi attacks on shipping will continue.
For two consecutive days, the United States has initiated fresh attacks on the Houthi rebels in Yemen following the rebels’ threat to retaliate against attacks on their facilities. On Saturday(Jan 13) , the US Navy’s USS Carney launched Tomahawk missiles at a Houthi radar site, as announced by the US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM).
Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen In Parliament Last Week :
Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen informed Parliament on January 9th about the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) deployment plans. These plans entail dispatching a team from the Republic of Singapore Navy’s Information Fusion Centre to facilitate information sharing. Additionally, a team of planners will collaborate with international partners on operational plans.
A senior national representative for the Republic will also be sent to the 39-nation Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) headquarters in Bahrain, he added.
Singapore will participate in the multinational Operation Prosperity Guardian under the ambit of Combined Task Force (CTF) 153: Red Sea Maritime Security – one of five task forces under the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). This is part of efforts to ensure the freedom of navigation in this key global Sea Line of Communication (SLOC). Littoral states, user states and the international community all have a role to play in ensuring maritime security, and Singapore has consistently supported the work of the international community to ensure that key SLOCs around the world remain safe and open for international shipping.
Singapore has been a member of the Malacca Straits Patrol since 2004 and the 39-nation CMF since 2009. The SAF had also contributed to CTF 151: Counter-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden from 2009 to 2023.
Singapore and the SAF continue to monitor developments in the region, including the ongoing need for humanitarian assistance. The SAF has accepted an invitation by the French Armed Forces (FAF) to provide two medical personnel to serve on FS Dixmude, docked at El Arish Port in Egypt. FS Dixmude is a reconfigured hospital ship that has been treating casualties from Gaza, and plans are underway to deploy this medical team to aid civilian casualties there.
This follows the SAF’s earlier support towards Singapore’s humanitarian aid contributions to Gaza through the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre (Changi RHCC), most recently through the delivery of relief supplies on 30 Nov 2023 to the Egyptian Red Crescent.
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