Bab Al Mandeb is crucial shipping lane between Arabian Peninsula and Horn of Africa
Riyadh: The Saudi-led coalition said on Thursday it had foiled a booby-trapped boat attack by Yemen’s Iran-backed Al Houthis in the Red Sea weeks after the militia hit a Saudi oil tanker.
A statement cited by Al Ekhbariya news channel did not identify the target of the attack.
The coalition statement said “the terrorist attack by a booby-trapped boat was launched from the shores of Hodeida,” a city off the strategic Bab Al Mandeb straits.
The coalition, which has been fighting the Iran-backed Al Houthi militias since March 2015, accused Al Houthis and the Iranian revolutionary guards of continuing to threaten international navigation routes and world trade.
It also reaffirmed that the protection of the Bab Al Mandeb waterway is an international responsibility.
Last month, the Al Houthis hit a giant Saudi oil tanker in the strategic waterway off Yemen coast causing minor damage.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude oil supplier, on July 26 halted exports through Bab Al Mandeb as a result of the attack before resuming the shipments 10 days later.
Bab Al Mandeb is a crucial shipping lane between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, linking the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.
About 4.8 million barrels of oil and petroleum products pass through the strait every day, according to US government figures.
Meanwhile, Al Houthis bombed the recently-liberated village of Al Ghalifqa in Al Duraihmi district of Hodeida governorate with an Iranian-made ballistic missile.
The attack, which killed a child and injured dozens of civilians, three of them seriously, is a continuation of their targeting of residential areas inhabited by civilians and their defiance of international laws that criminalise it.
The attack, which took place during Eid Al Adha, is also a continuation of their operations against civilians in Yemen’s liberated areas.
Several children who were playing in the village when the attack occurred. The Emirates News Agency, WAM, spoke with Yassin Hassan, the elder brother of one of the victims, who narrated tearfully the incident. “We were playing, me and my brother, with two of our friends when the missile landed near us and killed my brother and injured me and my friends. We did not realise what happened until we were in the hospital,” he said.