A Saudi border guard patrols near Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, along the beach on the Red Sea, near Jizan. (Reuters)

July 9, 2019

The Arab military coalition thwarted an attempt by Houthi militants to attack a commercial ship off the coast of Yemen.

Naval forces intercepted and destroyed a “booby-trapped boat,” laden with explosives in the southern Red Sea on Monday morning, coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said.

There were no details of the targeted ship.

The coalition, which is fighting alongside forces loyal to Yemen’s internationally recognized government against the Iran-backed Houthis, has repeatedly warned of the danger posed by the militants to international shipping.

In July 2018, the Houthis attacked a Saudi-owned oil tanker as it travelled through the Red Sea. Iran has also been blamed for a number of attacks on ships in recent months in waters off the Arabian Peninsula.

“The threat to navigation and international trade by the Iran-backed Houthi militia is a serious terrorist act,” Al-Maliki said.

He said the coalition forces are continuing to “neutralize all the militia’s hostile terrorist capabilities.”
Earlier, Al-Maliki accused the Houthis of reinforcing terrorist organizations operating in Yemen.

The accusation came after Saudi and Yemeni special forces captured the leader of Daesh in Yemen last month.

Abu Osama Al-Muhajir, a Yemeni who went by several other names, also fought for Daesh in Syria, Al-Maliki said.

Al-Maliki said that the Iran-backed Houthis continue to target civilians in the conflict, which started in 2014 when the militia seized the capital Sanaa,

He described the coalitions continued efforts to help aid deliveries, with more than 600 permits issued over the last two weeks.

Arab News

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.