The EU member states have given initial approval for a naval mission to protect ships from attacks by Iran-backed Houthi terrorists in the Red Sea. Many commercial shippers have redirected vessels to alternative routes following the attacks. The bloc’s Political and Security Committee has expressed support for the mission, aiming to establish it by February 19 at the latest. The European External Action Service declined to comment on confidential discussions. The United States previously announced a new mission, Operation Prosperity Guardian, to patrol the Red Sea, but some European allies have expressed reservations about being under US command.