Extra ADF personnel heading to the Middle East

extra adf personnel heading to the middle east

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Australia will send more military personnel to the Middle East to help allied forces fight Houthi rebels amid the group’s attacks on Red Sea shipping.

Defence Minister Richard Marles told Today six additional ADF members would join the US and UK-led allies in their headquarters “in the next couple of days”.

They will join the combined maritime force already in place.

“We’ve had an increase in the number of people in that headquarters, which is based in Bahrain, and we announced that last year,” Marles said.

“This is in addition but separate to that, which is a headquarters specifically supporting the US, UK strikes.”

The allies have been fighting against the Yemen-based Houthis, which have been attacking international vessels.

extra adf personnel heading to the middle east

Houthi fighters have been carrying out strikes against international shipping.

Marles said the contribution was “very much welcomed” by the US and UK.

“It’s very important that we are a part of this mission because our national interest is completely tied up, as an island trading nation, with freedom of navigation,” he said.

“And that’s what’s being protected here, in terms of protecting international shipping from the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.”

Marles claimed that the international strikes against the Houthis had affected the rebel group’s capabilities, but warned that the Australian deployment to the region may not be short-term.

“I do agree with the proposition that this may be something that needs to be in place over a longer period of time,” he said.

“We’ve got people with excellent skills that are certainly highly valued, and this is the best way in which we can help this effort.”

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