Australia confirms support to airstrikes in Yemen

The Australian government has confirmed the country’s involvement in airstrikes on Houthi military sites in Yemen. Richard Marles, deputy prime minister and minister for defense, on Friday said Australia supported strikes launched by the United States and Britain on Houthi rebels on Friday morning local time.

Marles told reporters at a press conference that Australian personnel were present in operational headquarters during the strikes but that he could not elaborate on the nature of their involvement.”On Jan. 4, Australia was part of 14 countries which issued a statement warning the Houthi rebels that if they continue to attack maritime activity in the Red Sea, there would be consequences,” Marles said.

“They have continued their attacks on maritime and naval assets. As a result the attacks today have occurred.” Australia in December rejected a request from the United States to send a Royal Australian Navy warship to the Red Sea to “help secure international shipping lanes.”

The government instead committed to deploying additional Australian Defence Force officers to the 39-nation Combined Maritime Forces command in Bahrain.

 

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