Home » Italian MPs set to approve Red Sea mission after drone strike

Italian MPs set to approve Red Sea mission after drone strike

The Duilio destroyer marked Italy’s first military action in the area by shooting down an incoming UAV. Parliament is expected to vote on officially joining two international missions – Aspides, which Rome already leads, and Levant – to reinforce maritime security and aid the Palestinian population

Engaging defence mode, in the Red Sea… On Saturday, the Italian Navy’s Nave Duilio destroyer shot down a Houthi drone. It was an act of self-defence, said the Defence Minister, noting that the weapon was similar to others that had been used in previous attacks and was flying towards the ship, finding itself only 6 kilometres away when it was neutralised.

  • Speaking from Washington, after her meeting with United States President Joe Biden and after the Italian ship had downed the drone, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni described the European Union’s mission Aspides as an “important response” to the Shiite group’s terror attacks.

… and at home. The Houthis’ aggressive actions in the Red Sea are “a serious violation of international law and an attack on the security of maritime traffic on which our economy depends,” said Defence Minister Guido Crosetto in an interview with Corriere della Sera. He then remarks on the urgency to reassess Italy’s (and the European Union’s) approach to defence.

  • “Let’s be clear […] Italy, like most nations, cannot manage to defend itself alone. In the meantime, we need to coordinate with allies, starting with Europe,” he stressed, calling for “joint forces, joint training” and deeper integration between militaries.
  • “Unfortunately, we are among the last to understand the need to have a solid Defence. It’s the price of a cultural heritage, a widespread “anti-militarism’,” he added.

Aspides vote coming up. On Tuesday, Parliament is slated to rule on Italy’s participation in additional international missions – as required for all foreign efforts. One, the European Union’s operation to bolster maritime security in the Red Sea, is dubbed Aspides, and Rome already has tactical command of it. The other, nicknamed Levant, is geared towards aiding the Palestinian population – a parallel effort to the US’ airdrops.

  • The House’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee greenlit the resolution on Monday. All parliamentary groups voted in favour, with the exception of the Five Star Movement, which abstained.

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