US Coalition Targets Houthis as India Bolsters Red Sea Security

India has deployed numerous naval vessels to the Red Sea in recent months to ensure maritime security, marking the region’s largest deployment of naval assets. The force has investigated over 250 vessels in the last two months to mitigate piracy threats. The piracy threat off the coast of Somalia re-emerged after six years of absence, following attacks by the Houthis at the entrance of the Red Sea. The Indian Navy also documented at least 17 incidents involving hijacking, attempted hijacking, and suspicious approaches since December 1. This deployment is an effort to augment India’s role as a security provider in the Indian Ocean region. It aims to ensure the safety of seafarers and contribute to regional maritime security. India has refrained from joining the US-led Operation Prosperity Guardian due to various reasons, including potential antagonism with the Houthis and concerns about the security of its own shipping. Despite growing security partnerships with Israel and the US, India has taken a neutral de-escalatory stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict. This reaffirms its traditional geopolitical position in the Middle East. Additionally, India has an economic interest in protecting vessels in the Red Sea, as threats in the southern Red Sea could harm its trade interests and impact its exports and imports.