EU forces strike Somali pirate base
15 May 2012
Five fast boats used by Somali pirates have been destroyed by European naval forces in their first raid against onshore pirate bases, it has been announced.
The operation, supported by Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, took place near the Indian Ocean port of Harardhere, eastern Somalia.
A storage depot for "supplies and equipment" used by pirates was attacked by EU Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) helicopters.
"The focused, precise and proportionate action was conducted from the air and all forces returned safely to EU warships on completion," an EUNAVFOR spokesman said. "Whilst assessment is on-going, surveillance of the area during the action indicates that no Somalis were injured ashore as a result of EU action."
EUNAVFOR's Operation Commander, Rear Admiral Duncan Potts, said: "We believe this action by the EU Naval Force will further increase the pressure on, and disrupt pirates' efforts to get out to sea to attack merchant shipping and dhows. The local Somali people and fishermen – many of whom have suffered so much because of piracy in the region, can be reassured that our focus was on known pirate supplies and will remain so in the future."
"The EU Naval Force action against pirate supplies on the shoreline is merely an extension of the disruption actions carried out against pirate ships at sea, and Operation Atalanta remains committed to fighting piracy off the Horn of Africa and the humanitarian mission of protecting World Food Programme ships that bring vital aid to the Somali people."
There are currently nine warships in the EU Naval Force and five Maritime Patrol Aircraft working to protect shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.
The Council of the European Union voted on 23 March to allow EUNAVFOR assets to bombard onshore targets in a bid to disrupt pirate supply lines.
HAVE YOUR SAY
16 May 2012
This is why we need some sort of Corvette. Something that's not too complex and not too large. Build it in large numbers so that you can protect world trade... With globalisation if any nation suffers at the hands of piracy/terrorism or narcotics operations it can have an effect on all economies in the global pool... Especially if the country is a big buyer/supplier.
Thus the Corvette serves a very important role with the current state of litoral threats. Furthermore with modern systems like CEC, Modern ASuWs and good CIWSs they can act as reasonable goalkeepers to larger escorts in a task group thus serving utility... Ideal for raids with small groups of Marines etc, or providing NGS close inshore without risking a £1 billion pound warship.
Anthony - Bristol, United Kingdom