Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek newsGreek Frigate Sails to the Red Sea to Aid EU Mission

Greek Frigate Sails to the Red Sea to Aid EU Mission

Greek frigate Red Sea
The participation of Hydra “involves risks, significant risks,” the Minister of Defense Nikos Dendias warned. Credit: Greek Navy

Greek frigate Hydra sailed toward the Red Sea on Monday after Greece assumed command of the EU’s maritime security operation which would aim to prevent attacks against ships and ensure freedom of navigation.

Minister of National Defense, Nikos Dendias, emphasized during his visit to the Hydra frigate before sailing, that the participation of Hydra “involves risks, significant risks.”

He added, however, that Greece is compelled to take part: “Greece, as a maritime power with a leading role in world shipping, attaches great importance to the need to ensure free navigation, as well as the lives of Greek sailors.”

With a crew of two hundred, the frigate is designed in Germany and is part of the MEKO group of modular warships.

Earlier on Monday, a security committee headed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ordered the participation of a Greek frigate in the Aspides operation, named after the Greek word for “shield,” that was launched last week.

The mission will be run from a military base in Larissa in central Greece under the command of Greek navy Cdre. Vasilios Griparis.

Greek frigate to contribute to maritime security in the Red Sea

The EU announced that “Aspides,” meaning “shields” or “protector” in Greek, will contribute to maritime security along the main sea lanes in an area including the Straits of Bab el-Madab, the Straits of Hormuz, and the international waters in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf.

The strategic objective will be to escort ships in the area of operation, provide situational awareness, and protect ships from multi-dimensional attacks at sea “in full respect of international law, including the principles of necessity and proportionality” in a sub-area of the region of operations.

Greece, a major commercial shipping power, has been directly affected by the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. The port of Piraeus near Athens reported a drop of 12.7 percent in activity at its container terminal in January.

Germany, Italy, and France will also provide warships for the mission, joining the Hydra, while Italy will assume tactical command, according to Greek officials.

Officials in Athens have described the Aspides mission as defensive, adding that Greece would not take part in US-led attacks against Houthi military targets in Yemen.

In recent months, the dangers for shipping in the Red Sea region have increased dramatically, as Iranian-backed Houthi fighters have targeted commercial shipping with drone and missile attacks, as well as more brazen assaults by boat and helicopter.

Several Greek-owned vessels have been attacked by missiles suffering damage, but there have been no casualties.

The Houthis, who control a large part of Yemen, have declared their backing for Hamas in its war with Israel. They say they are targeting commercial vessels with links to Israel.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts