Cairo: An Arab alliance, fighting Yemen’s Iran-allied Al Houthi militia, Sunday foiled an “imminent terrorist” attack planned by the rebels off the Red Sea, a coalition official said.
Al Houthis had launched from Yemen’s western province of Hodeidah a boat rigged with explosives for the attack, the alliance spokesman Col Turki Al maliki added in a statement.
“The explosive boat was intercepted and destroyed by the coalition naval forces,” he added, according to the Saudi news agency SPA.
He described the rebel act as a threat to regional and international security and shipping routes.
The alliance has also destroyed over the past 24 hours three naval mines planted by Al Houthis in the vital Bab Al Mandab Strait and south of the Red Sea, according to the official.
He accused Al Houthis of using Hodeidah, which is Yemen’s major port, as a launch pad for firing ballistic missiles, drones and remote-controlled explosive boats in a “glaring violation of international humanitarian law” and a UN-brokered ceasefire pact signed in December 2018, he added.
The escalation comes days after the alliance intercepted ballistic missiles fired by Al Houthis in the direction of neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
Yemen’s conflict erupted after Al Houthis toppled the internationally recognised government and overran parts of the country, including the capital Sana’a, in late 2014.
In March 2015, the Arab alliance co-led by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, intervened in Yemen in response to a request from its government after Al Houthis advanced on the southern city of Aden, the country’s provisional capital.