Singapore did not take part in US-led military strikes against Yemen’s Houthi rebels

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) on Saturday (Jan 13) said the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) did not participate in the latest military strikes against Yemen’s Houthis.

On Friday, the United States military said it had carried out another strike on the Houthi rebels, after the Iran-backed militants warned of further attacks on ships in the Red Sea. The strike came a day after dozens of US and British strikes on the Iran-backed group’s facilities.

In response to CNA’s queries on Saturday, a MINDEF spokesperson clarified that 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.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in parliament on Tuesday that Singapore will participate in the operation by deploying a team of planners to work with international partners at their headquarters to formulate plans.

Singapore will also be sending a team from the Republic of Singapore Navy’s Information Fusion Centre to support information sharing and engagement outreach to the commercial shipping community, as well as a senior national representative to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in Bahrain, he added.

“OPG is unrelated to the military strikes against the Houthis,” said MINDEF.

The OPG, which involves over 20 countries, focuses on efforts to protect shipping vessels against security threats, such as through information sharing and maritime patrols, it added.

Since the Oct 7 attacks by Hamas on Israel, and Israel’s war in Gaza in response, the Houthis – who control swathes of Yemen – have stepped up their attacks on international maritime traffic in the Red Sea, claiming to be acting in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza.

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