The German frigate “Hessen” repelled an attack against a civilian cargo ship in the Red Sea. The Bundeswehr announced this on Saturday evening on the X platform (formerly Twitter). “An incoming missile could be destroyed.”

The “Hessen” was sent to the region at the end of February as part of the EU naval mission “Aspides” to protect merchant shipping with 240 soldiers on board. It is intended to protect merchant ships against attacks by the Houthi militia operating from Yemen. On its fourth day of operations, the frigate had already shot down two Houthi drones. According to the Bundeswehr, in mid-March it repelled an attack with a surface drone against a civilian towing group.

The Yemeni Houthi militia has been attacking ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden for several months. The Red Sea is the most important sea route from Asia to Europe, which runs through the Suez Canal. The Iran-allied Houthi militia wants to use the attacks to force an end to the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip, which is a response to the terrorist attack by the Islamist Hamas on October 7th.

The USA and Great Britain responded with attacks on Houthi positions in Yemen and want to prevent further attacks on cargo ships. In addition, warships from two international coalitions are trying to secure shipping traffic along the Yemeni coast.