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Britain warns ships of increased risk of attack off Yemen

August 17, 2017 at 12:13 pm

The United Kingdom has warned commercial ships of possible attacks launched from Yemen in the Bab Al-Mandeb waterway, Al Arabiya reported.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations released new guidance that there is a heightened risk of attack for commercial shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Bab Al-Mandeb. Stringent planning is required for operations in waters surrounding Yemen as attacks have taken place during day light hours from smaller boats, using rocket launchers.

Read: US: Houthi capabilities threaten navigation in Bab Al-Mandeb

Rocket fire attacked two commercial ships at the southern entrance of the waterway this week. Seven smaller boats with hostile intent, otherwise known as “skiffs” followed commercial ships on 10 August, two of which closed in on a ship but then withdrew. Ships reported the incident and claimed that all crew members were safe from harm. There was no mention of the perpetrators of the attack.

The Yemen civil war is slipping into the maritime realm, causing commercial risks for companies and states using international waters for transporting goods. The Houthi group has been attacking commercial ships travelling through the strategic waterway. The US and the Saudi-led coalition have accused Iran of arming the Houthi group.