The Hellenic Navy Frigate “Hydra” is reportedly ready to set sail by the end of the week to join the EU’s EUNAVFOR “Aspides” operation in the Red Sea, according to reports citing a decision taken at a national security governmental council (KYSEA) meeting on Monday morning in Athens.

Chaired by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, members of the council reportedly approved – as widely expected – a proposal by the relevant defense minister for Greece’s participation in the mission, which aims to safeguard shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden from attacks by Houthi rebels operating from Yemen.

DM Nikos Dendias subsequently boarded the Greek warship after the meeting, as it was docked off the greater Athens area.

EU partners have agreed to base the mission’s land command in the central Greece city of Larissa.

In an unrelated development, the KYSEA meeting also focused on the issue of illegal immigration flows affecting Greece. The government has reportedly claimed a dramatic decrease in such flows as well as irregular migrants residing in the country. Nevertheless, authorities have increased readiness in the sea region south of Crete and the small island of Gavdos, due to fears of more migrant boats setting off from Libya for EU territory to the north.

Aspides means “shields” in Greek.