The US is holding talks with its allies to establish a maritime task force to protect ships in the Red Sea, a spokesperson for the Pentagon said Tuesday.
"As you've heard yesterday…we are in discussions with our partners and our allies about a maritime task force,” Patrick Ryder told reporters.
After three vessels were struck Sunday by missiles fired by Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announced Monday that the US is in talks with other countries about establishing a maritime task force of sorts involving ships from partner nations alongside the UN to ensure the safe passage of ships in the Red Sea.
"It's important to highlight that the Houthi strikes against commercial vessels in international waters underscore the fact that this is an international problem.
"All three of these ships were sailing in international waters, representing a variety of countries in terms of where they were flagged and who they were crewed by. So those talks are ongoing," Ryder said.
He added that it would be an international task force made up of 38 nations.
It would be “a coalition of the willing and it does not prescribe a specific level of participation from any member nation,” he said.
"So those contributions are determined from each country and so therefore can vary depending on its ability to contribute assets and its availability to provide those assets at any given time.”