Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 September 2020

Saudi-led coalition in Yemen destroys explosive boats in the Red Sea

The operation to destroy the boats took place in the early hours of Thursday

A container crane is seen at Saleef port in the western Red Sea Hodeida province. AFP
A container crane is seen at Saleef port in the western Red Sea Hodeida province. AFP

Saudi-led forces in Yemen say they destroyed two explosive-laden boats on Thursday.

Spokesman for the Joint Forces Command of the coalition, Col Turki Al Malki said the boats, six kilometres south of Yemen's Saleef port, posed an "imminent threat to sea lines of communication, international trade and regional and international security".

He said the boats destroyed at 3.20am on Thursday belonged to Houthi rebels, backed by Iran. They were 215 metres off shore and "prepared to imminently execute hostile and terrorist actions in the Bab Al Mandab Strait and Southern Red Sea", Col Al Malki said.

The coalition spokesman said the operation did not break recently agreed ceasefire rules, and that "all precautionary measures" were taken to protect civilians. He added that the Houthis used the Hodeidah area to launch attacks,

Yemen’s civil war was sparked by the Houthi rebels capturing the capital, Sanaa, in 2014. The following year, a Saudi-led coalition intervened at the request of the internationally recognised government.

The conflict is at a stalemate, with the rebels retaining control of much of northern Yemen, including Sanaa.

In April, the coalition announced a truce to enable work to halt the spread of coronavirus. Saudi Arabia has accused the Houthi group of breaking the ceasefire thousands of times since it was implemented.

Updated: July 9, 2020 09:01 PM

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