UAE forces sink two Houthi ships off Yemen coast
Two other boats that threatened tankers passing through the Bab El Mandeb managed to escape
The UAE Armed Forces, part of the Saudi-led Arab coalition, have destroyed two boats used by Iran-backed Houthi rebels that were posing a threat to commercial oil tankers along Yemen's Red Sea coast.
Two other boats managed to escape the coalition forces naval fleet, according to UAE state news agency, Wam.
The Houthis' naval forces have been patrolling the coastal waters between Hodeidah and Sanaa since overthrowing the internationally recognised government in 2015.
There was no mention of whether the tanker had been damaged in the incident, which was also reported by Saudi-owned broadcaster Al Arabiya television.
A renewed Arab Coalition-backed push to capture Hodeidah, Yemen’s largest port city, has diminished the rebels' positions surrounding the northeastern city.
The Yemeni forces secured several key supply routes surrounding Hodeidah, prompting a rebel retreat from strongholds previously obstructing the path to the port city.
Houthi naval forces have often deployed mines aimed at disrupting trade routes through the Bab Al Mandab chokepoint, the fifth busiest naval route in the world.
In January, the Yemeni forces repelled an attack by Iran-backed rebels fired as they looked to sink a Saudi tanker.
In 2016, a UN-sanctioned ship carrying humanitarian aid was turned back after it came under Houthi fire.
No further details were given on the operation.
Updated: May 23, 2018 05:01 PM