Saudi-led coalition spokesperson General Ahmed Al-Asiri yesterday condemned the Houthi rebels for firing at a Saudi warship from the Al-Hudaydah port.
“Launching attacks from the Al-Hudaydah port and targeting a Saudi warship is an act of sabotage and a dangerous indicator,” Al-Asiri told Al-Hadath TV channel.
“The Saudi warship was monitoring ships entering the Al-Hudaydah port; therefore, launching terrorist attacks on the Al-Hudaydah port will affect the productivity of the port and its work. This is part of the militias’ sabotaging act,” he continued.
Houthi suicide attack on Saudi ship
On Monday, the Houthis launched a suicide operation to blow up a Saudi warship.
Four ships were deployed; one for the purpose of filming the operation and three others that carried out the offensive. Two of the ships had six armed-fighters each, whose responsibility was to shoot at the Saudi warship and the third one, was loaded with TNT and explosives, along with two militants.
According to initial reports, one of the three videographers on the first ship was Iranian.
Before the Houthis were able to complete their operation, the Saudi warship fired back and intercepted the attack.
Two crew members on the Saudi warship were killed and three others were injured, according to Saudi Press Agency.
Saudi siege on Yemen
The Houthi rebels have held Al-Hudaydah from the second week of October 2014. When they entered the province, they captured the entry points and the local airport. The sea port, which was a lifeline for Yemenis in the province and across the country, was captured soon after.
There have been several reports that Houthis have used the post to receive smuggled weapons leading to it being a primary target for the Saudi-led coalition. The port was severely damaged by August 2015 and by October 2015 it was closed.
The Saudi-led coalition has also closed Sana’a airport, amid security threats from the Houthi forces. Over the past few weeks, a campaign has taken place under the #Open_Sanaa_Airport hashtag. It is likely that the Saudi camp will use the latest Houthi attack to justify the closing of Sana’a airport, and the monitoring of the sea ports. Both parties are responsible for the lack of basic necessities entering Yemen by sea and air.
Attack on US suspected
US defence officials have said there is a possibility that the attack on the warship was actually meant for a US ship, according to Fox News. Other analysts have come to believe that this was a “dress rehearsal” similar to the attack on the USS Cole bombing of October 2000.