The head of the European Union naval operation in the Red Sea has called for more vessels to provide close protection for ships from Houthi attacks.

Rear Admiral Vasileios Gryparis, of Greece, said he needed more than the four frigates currently working on the $8.7m Aspides mission in the southern Red Sea.

Gryparis told Bloomberg that the EU force since February has escorted 164 ships and shot down drones and missiles.