Posted on September 12, 2018 by Ashleigh Cowie
The UAE-backed Yemeni Navy claims to have intercepted a vessel booby-trapped with explosives. They believe the vessel was launched by Houthis rebels.
The drone-boat is said to have been transiting at approximately 30 knots towards a merchant vessel in the Red Sea when it was stopped by Navy officials.
This incident shares similarities with a report last month that the UAE-Saudi coalition had foiled a plan to attack commercial shipping on the 23rd August, whereby another explosive-laden vessel had been launched from the shores of rebel-held Hodeida.
Attacks like these have become more frequent as tension between the groups continues to grow. Merchant ships and warships are among those that have been attacked.
ARX reported that in July, following a spate of strikes on Saudi-owned VLCCs, and several attacks on their own vessels, state oil firm Bahri temporarily suspended transits through the Bab al-Mandeb strait.
Methods used in attacks have been anti-ship missiles, improvised naval mines and WIEDS.
In April this year crude oil tanker Abqaiq was hit by a missile as it transited around Saudi Arabia. At the time a source at the scene said:
“There were around 25 of us on the vessel having lunch, when we heard a huge bang.
“There was a lot of confusion, especially when we looked out and realised there were no vessels or islands anywhere near, so couldn’t work out what was attacking us."
He then added: “The region is going through a very dark time at the moment. There are new snippets of Houthis rebels coming out and they’re having great success in the battlefield. More than I think is being reported in the media.
“A lot of companies refuse to acknowledge the region as a warzone, but it definitely is. They have really advanced theatres of combat.”
Missile attacks have since become more frequent as the year has progressed, and accusations of the Saydi-UAE coalition working with Al-Queda in Yemen have surfaced.