First Published: 2017-06-15

Yemen rebels fire on UAE ship
One crewman injured after Yemeni rebels fire missile at Emirati ship leaving port of Mokha, near strategic waters of Bab al-Mandab strait.
Middle East Online

Bab al-Mandab strait links Red Sea with the Indian Ocean and is vital to global trade

MOKHA - Yemeni rebels have fired a missile at an Emirati ship near the Bab al-Mandab strait, injuring a crewman, the Saudi-led coalition said Thursday, marking the latest incident in the strategic waters.

The coalition, which intervened against Yemen's Huthi rebels and their allies more than two years ago, did not name the vessel or say whether it was civilian or military.

It was leaving the port of Mokha, in Yemen's southwest, when the attack occurred but the ship itself was not damaged, the coalition said.

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.

In a statement on their Sabanews.net press agency the rebels claimed the attack against the "warship" and said it took place on Tuesday evening.

Coalition-backed forces supporting the internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi took back Mokha from the rebels in February.

The historic port is just north of the Bab al-Mandab 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 Bab al-Mandab.

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 toward US warships in the area.

Late last year the rebels attacked a UAE vessel, the high-speed catamaran HSV-2 Swift, in the Bab al-Mandab.

The UAE said the ship was "civilian" and lacked "any military capability," but a United Nations panel of experts disagreed.

It reported in January that the vessel "was operating directly to support the military efforts" of the UAE when it was hit by a missile.

 

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