The Saudi-led coalition announced on December 25 that a naval mine laid by the Houthis, formally known as Ansar Allah, struck a small commercial vessel in the Red Sea.
In a statement, the coalition said the vessel’s front was slightly damaged as a result of the mine explosion. No human losses were reported.
The Saudi-led coalition noted that the Houthis have been laying even more mines in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait. The coalition described these acts as a “dangerous threat to international navigation and trade.”
The coalition claims that its naval forces have destroyed 175 naval mines laid by the Houthis in Yemen’s waters since the outbreak of the war in 2015. The mines were allegedly of the Iranian-made “Sadaf” type.
During the last two months, the Houthis stepped up their naval operations against Saudi Arabia. On November 25, the Houthis targeted a Greek-managed oil tanker in a Saudi petroleum terminal located near the city of Jeddah. Later on December 14, a Singapore-flagged tanker was attacked in the port of Jeddah.
In both attacks, the Houthis used remotely-controlled water-born improvised explosive devices. The group is allegedly manufacturing these bomb-laden boats with Iranian help.
The Houthis’ increasing operations in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait pose a serious challenge to the Saudi-led coalition. Saudi naval forces have failed to secure the Kingdom’s waters.
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