Dendias: A frigate will sail for the Red Sea to protect Greek interests

Nikos Dendias

National Defence Minister Nikos Dendias pointed out the need for "the Armed Forces of our country to embrace the new doctrines, to understand the new lessons learnt (from the wars in Ukraine, Gaza and the Caucasus) and to adapt their policies accordingly."

"At a time when next to us, around us, everywhere, there is a revolution, how can we possibly just carry on with a set of rules that we had established many years ago?" he queried in an interview with the Action24 TV late on Wednesday. "We need to change the way we plan, perceive and prepare to react."

At the same time, the minister expressed his certainty that the new leadership of the Greek Armed Forces will manage to implement this priority, which has a deadline in 2030.

Dendias stated that Greece will acquire the F-35 fighter jets, but also that "F-35s are not enough, there has to be a total change of landscape and perception."

The defence minister expressed his concern about the ongoing attacks, both in the Red Sea and in the wider region.

He stated that a Greek frigate will sail for the Red Sea after it has been fully prepared and its role depends on the overall strength and assignment of roles.

Dendias reiterated that "it is not a frigate that is participating in a foreign mission. It is a frigate that is participating in the protection of our country's vital interests."

Greek ship hit by missile as Houthis ramp up Red Sea attacks

A Greek-owned, Maltese-flagged cargo ship was reportedly hit by a rocket as it sailed close to the coast of Yemen, amid a sharp uptick in attempted strikes on civilian vessels in the Red Sea by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

The U.K. Maritime Trade Operations headquarters confirmed Tuesday that it had received reports of a potential attack around 100 nautical miles from the Gulf nation.

British maritime security firm Ambrey has since said the incident was the result of a missile strike, and the ship has been provisionally identified as the Zografia, which had been heading toward the Mediterranean from the Arabian Sea and is not believed to have been carrying any cargo at the time.

No injuries have been reported among the 24 crew members.

The apparent attack comes less than a day after the U.S.-owned Gibraltar Eagle, a dry bulk carrier sailing through Yemeni waters, was hit with an anti-ship ballistic missile. While it sustained damage to the cargo bay, it has continued on its course away from the crisis-hit area.

The Houthis claimed responsibility shortly afterward.

U.S. and British forces on Friday began precision strikes against Houthi weapons stores and drone launch sites. However, the Iran-backed Houthi movement has vowed to keep up its attacks in the busy shipping lanes, which it claims are a direct response to the Israel-Hamas war but has seen dozens of vessels without links to Israel targeted.

According to Ami Daniel, co-founder of Tel-Aviv based maritime firm Windward, Western shipping is increasingly likely to avoid the Red Sea as the crisis goes on.

“Given the extreme risks, high insurance premiums and escalating situation, it would be wise to consider alternative trading routes at the cost of extended delivery times and perhaps minor supply chain disruptions," he said.

READ MORE: Blast damages Greek office of Israeli shipping firm.

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