Joint Statement from the Governments of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, and the United States
Recognizing the broad consensus as expressed by 44 countries around the world on December 19, 2023, as well as the statement by the UN Security Council on December 1, 2023, condemning Houthi attacks against merchant and commercial vessels transiting the Red Sea, our governments issued a joint statement on January 3, 2024, which called for the immediate end of illegal attacks and warned that malign actors would be held accountable should they continue to threaten lives, the global economy, and the free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways.
Despite this strong warning, attacks in the Red Sea have continued, including the launch of numerous missiles and one-way attack aerial vehicles against ships in the Red Sea on January 9, 2024, including U.S. and UK vessels. On January 10, 2024, the UN Security Council passed UNSCR 2722, which also condemned these attacks and demanded that they cease.
In response to continued illegal, dangerous, and destabilizing Houthi attacks against vessels, including commercial shipping, transiting the Red Sea, the armed forces of the United States and United Kingdom, with support from the Netherlands, Canada, Bahrain, and Australia, conducted joint strikes in accordance with the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense, consistent with the UN Charter, against a number of targets in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. These precision strikes were intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities the Houthis use to threaten global trade and the lives of international mariners in one of the world’s most critical waterways.
The Houthis’ more than two dozen attacks on commercial vessels since mid-November constitute an international challenge. Today’s action demonstrated a shared commitment to freedom of navigation, international commerce, and defending the lives of mariners from illegal and unjustifiable attacks.
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.