This week, the European Union launched a naval mission – named Eunavfor Aspides – to protect commercial shipping in the Red Sea area.

The mission has a defensive mandate to provide situational awareness, accompany vessels and protect them against Houthi rebel missile attacks in the region.

The operation will be active in the key areas affected by the recent attacks, including the Bab al-Mandab Strait, the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Red Sea itself.

Germany has already sent an air defence frigate to be part of the mission, and it is understood that both France and Italy will be contributing naval vessels too.   

This week also saw CMA CGM send their ULCV (Ultra Large Container Vessel) ‘Jules Verne’ through the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandeb Strait, which was escorted by the French navy and reported no attacks.

The decision to route a vessel through the danger zone came as a surprise to many, as the French carrier had stated earlier this month that its vessels were now going to be routed around the Cape Of Good Hope. 

It is currently unknown whether CMA CGM plan to use the Red Sea route for any further sailings.

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