Houthis fire missile at UAE ship in Bab el Mandeb strait
RIYADH // Houthi rebels have fired a missile at an Emirati aid ship near the Bab el Mandeb strait, injuring a crewman, the Saudi-led coalition said on Thursday, marking the latest incident in the strategic waters.
The ship was carrying medical equipment when it departed from the port of Mokha, in south-west Yemen, said the General Command of the UAE Armed Forces in a statement.
The attack caused no damage to the vessel, but left one crew member injured. The General Command of the Armed Forces is following up and tracking down those behind the attack, and reiterated its warning against the danger posed to international shipping by Houthi activities and arms smuggling.
The UAE has been delivering urgent medical assistance to a number of governorates in Yemen to help contain the cholera outbreak. The Emirates Red Crescent is running medical convoys to Yemen.
The rebels control northern Yemen and seized the capital Sanaa in September 2014, supported by members of the security forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The rebels claimed they carried out the attack against the “warship” and said it took place on Tuesday evening, according to a statement on their Sabanews press agency.
Coalition-backed forces supporting the internationally recognised government of president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi took back Mokha from the rebels in February.
The historic port is just north of the Bab el Mandeb which links the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean and is vital to global trade.
An international naval coalition, the Combined Maritime Forces, on Monday warned that “there are still risks” to ships transiting the strait.
Yemeni rebels in late January attacked a Saudi warship in the Red Sea, killing two sailors.
Anti-government forces are also believed to have fired missiles towards US warships in the area.
Last year the rebels attacked a UAE vessel, the high-speed catamaran HSV-2 Swift, in the Bab el Mandeb.
* Agence France-Presse and WAM
Updated: June 15, 2017 04:00 AM