JEDDAH: A Houthi rebel attack on a Saudi oil tanker off Hodeida early Wednesday has been foiled by the Arab coalition’s fleet, coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said.
The attack, which took place in international waters west of the militia-controlled port, left the tanker with minimal damage.
A coalition statement said that the tanker was attacked at 0115 (2115 GMT) west of Yemen’s Hodeidah port, but did not name the vessel or describe how it was attacked.
“The Saudi oil tanker was subjected to slight damage due to the attack by the Houthi militia,” it said. “Thankfully the attack failed due to immediate intervention of the Coalition’s flee.” It provided no details.
Al-Maliki condemned the attack as “a dangerous threat to the freedom of navigation and international trade” and said the incident might have resulted in an environmental disaster.
“The continuation of such attempts proves the real threat this militia poses. The port of Hodeida is still the starting point of terrorist attacks,” he said.
“The Joint Forces Command of the coalition will always implement all security and precautionary measures to sustain safety and security of freedom of navigation and trade in the Red Sea and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. The command will continue its core role to stabilize and secure Yemen, protecting and securing regional and international security and economy.”
Al-Maliki said that returning Hodeida to the legitimate government of Yemen will end the port’s use as a military base to launch terror attacks against maritime lanes.