Greek Shipping Minister: Closer Naval Cooperation Reduces Houthi Attacks in Red Sea

The Navy has approved the “Hydra” frigate to participate in the multinational Operation Prosperity Guardian,

Greek Shipping Minister Christos Stylianides told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday that closer international cooperation between naval missions in the Red Sea has reduced the number of attacks by Yemen’s Houthis over the past week.

Shipping & Island Policy Minister Christos Stylianides
Shipping & Island Policy Minister Christos Stylianides

Greece hosts the headquarters of the European Union’s naval operation in the Red Sea, known as “Aspides,” which translates to “Shields” in Greek.

“For us, it is satisfying to observe a notable reduction in the number and intensity of attacks during the past week. This is the reality,” Stylianides said, speaking on the sidelines of the Posidonia shipping week in Athens.

“It is another proof that the international community, with decisiveness, can halt this.”

Aspides was established this year to protect vessels against attacks by Iranian-aligned Houthi militants, who have launched repeated drone and missile strikes in the Red Sea region since November and have expanded attacks to other busy waterways.

The Houthis describe their attacks as acts of solidarity with Palestinians amid Israel’s conflict in Gaza.

Stylianides, a former EU Commissioner, stated that shipping has not witnessed politically motivated attacks of this scale since World War Two, noting that they have caused “tangible repercussions, geopolitically, commercially, legally, environmentally.”

He said the recent reduction demonstrates that Aspides and the US-led Operation Prosperity Guardian complement each other in helping restore freedom of trade in the area.

The Houthis have sunk one ship, the Rubymar, and seized another vessel, resulting in the deaths of three seafarers in a separate attack.

Greece, leading the shipping sector in terms of tonnage, has also felt the impact, prompting the country to take a more proactive role in the EU initiative.

The Houthis have targeted at least two Greek-operated ships in recent weeks.

“There is no reluctance to be on the frontline,” Stylianides emphasized. “As a country at the forefront of the maritime field, we have to shoulder our responsibilities and duties.”

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024