24 Jan 2024

Defence experts sound alarm over new deployment to Middle East

From Morning Report, 6:44 am on 24 January 2024

Experts are warning New Zealand's latest deployment to the Middle East could be interpreted as supporting Israel in the Gaza conflict.

A team of six Defence Force personnel are being deployed to support precision attacks on military targets responsible for Houthi strikes in the Red Sea.

The government says the deployment is part of a long-standing commitment to maritime security - denying it's in any way connected to the war in Gaza.

But two experts have told RNZ this is wishful thinking and New Zealand's international reputation could be on the line.

Political reporter Anneke Smith has more.