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EU naval mission says 'most powerful systems' fail to confront Yemenis: German media

A picture taken during an organized tour by Yemeni forces shows the Galaxy Leader ship, seized by the Yemeni forces two days earlier, at a port on the Red Sea in Yemen’s province of Hudaydah on November 22, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

The operational commander of the European Union’s Aspides naval mission has admitted to Yemen’s military capabilities in the Red Sea region, a report says.

In a confidential meeting with EU diplomatic representatives in Brussels last week, the Greek rear admiral Vasileios Gryparis, the mission’s operational commander, expressed his concerns over the capabilities of the Yemeni forces that have been carrying out anti-Israel retaliatory operations in support of Palestine.

He warned that “the danger” posed by Yemeni forces remains “acute”, Tasnim news agency reported, citing the German weekly Spiegel.

The commander noted that the Yemeni forces managed for the first time to “overcome the mission’s air defenses with a swarm of drones and damage a merchant ship” on April 29.

He said, "But with a whole swarm of drones, even the most powerful systems gave up at some point."

In solidarity with the Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, the Yemeni armed forces have targeted ships in the Red Sea with owners linked to Israel or those going to and from ports in the occupied territories.

In December last year, the United States formed a coalition to stop Yemen’s anti-Israel attacks.

Alongside the US-led operation, the EU’s Aspides purportedly aims to protect shipping in the Red Sea region.

The US and the UK have also been carrying out numerous attacks against Yemen as a means of trying to pressure the country into stopping a series of operations that it has been conducting in support of Gazans.

Yemen has been conducting operations against the British and American warships that have been dispatched to the Red Sea to confront the Yemeni strikes.

Gryparis said the EU’s mission deploys modern defense systems, but he stressed that even the strongest systems surrender amid the flight of a swarm of drones.

Referring to the withdrawal of the German frigate Hessen, he said the mission now could experience “bottlenecks” as he would only have three frigates available for the next few months.

According to his remarks, this would mean that he would no longer be able to fully fulfill the mission.

Gryparis stressed that at least ten warships and air support from a drone or reconnaissance aircraft would be needed.  

Israel waged its genocidal war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the usurping entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

Since the start of the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has killed nearly 34,683 Palestinians and injured more than 78,018 others.

The Tel Aviv regime has also imposed a “complete siege” on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.

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