Arab coalition forces intercept, destroy Houthi boat rigged with explosives

Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Malki said the Houthi boat rigged with explosives was intercepted and destroyed. (AFP)
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Updated 24 February 2020

Arab coalition forces intercept, destroy Houthi boat rigged with explosives

  • Explosives-laden boat ‘a threat to regional and international security’

MUKALLA, Yemen: Saudi-led coalition naval forces in the Red Sea thwarted an attempt by Iran-backed Houthi militias to carry out a terror attack on Sunday using an unmanned boat packed with explosives.
The vessel was launched from Hodeidah province in western Yemen, but tracked and destroyed, said coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki.

“The coalition navy detected on Sunday morning an imminent hostile, terrorist attack in Southern Red Sea using a remote-controlled boat set to explode, by the terrorist Iran-backed Houthi militia,” Al-Malki said in statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

It was the third time in three months that the Houthis had attempted such an attack, a senior coast guard officer told Arab News.

The planned attack was a threat to security and maritime trade, Al-Maliki said, and the use of Hodeidah was a “glaring violation” of the UN-brokered Stockholm peace agreement in December 2018.

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Three naval mines were also discovered and destroyed in Bab-El-Mandeb strait and the southern Red Sea during the past 24 hours, bringing the number of detected naval mines deployed by the Houthi militia to 150.

“The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition continues to implement rigorous measures against this terrorist militia to neutralize and destroy such capabilities that threaten regional and international security,” Al-Malki said.

Later on Sunday, coalition warplanes carried out several airstrikes on the Houthi-held capital Sanaa, hitting the presidential palace and other military sites. Al-Maliki said the airstrikes had destroyed Houthi sites used to store ballistic missiles and drones.

Meanwhile, the coalition and Yemen’s internationally recognized government have intensified security measures around main sea and land entry posts in Yemen to prevent Iran from smuggling arms to the Houthis.

Hundreds more Yemeni coast guard soldiers have been deployed off the Yemeni coasts, and even local fishermen have been recruited.

“They are now helping us monitor the sea. They alert us about any ship or boat suspected of carrying weapons to the Houthis,” a coast guard officer in the Red Sea Khokha district told Arab News.

Vehicle inspections have also been stepped up at dozens of army and security checkpoints, and several arms shipments have already been intercepted.


Fire breaks out at petrochemical facility in southwest Iran

Updated 12 July 2020

Fire breaks out at petrochemical facility in southwest Iran

  • The fire was caused by an oil leak but did not lead to any casualties or financial damage

A fire broke out at a facility belonging to the Shahid Tondgooyan Petrochemical Company in southwest Iran but was quickly contained, the official IRNA news agency reported on Sunday, citing a local official.
The fire was caused by an oil leak but did not lead to any casualties or financial damage, Mohsen Beyranvand, the governor of Mahshahr county said, according to IRNA.
Beyranvand described the fire as minor and said it was put out in less than ten minutes.
There have been several explosions around Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities since late June.
A gas explosion shook a residential building in Iran’s capital Tehran on Saturday, injuring one person, the semi-official ISNA news agency quoted the city fire department as saying.
A chlorine gas leak occurred at a unit of the Karoon petrochemicals plant near the port of Bandar Imam Khomeini on the Gulf on July 4, injuring dozens, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported. (Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh, editing by Louise Heavens)