A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, Turki Al-Maliki, accused Houthi rebels on Tuesday of attacking a Saudi Arabian oil tanker in the Red Sea. According to the official Saudi Press Agency, Al-Maliki said that the tanker suffered minor damage but was able to continue on its northwards course towards Saudi territorial waters escorted by a coalition warship.
The spokesman said that the "Houthi-Iranian" attack took place at 13:30 local time while the tanker was sailing in international waters west of the port of Hodeida. "The attempted attack failed, after a coalition warship implemented a swift intervention," Al-Maliki explained.
Such a "terrorist attack," he added, "poses a serious threat to freedom of shipping and international trade in the Bab Al-Mandab Strait and the Red Sea. It could also cause environmental and economic damage."
Al-Maliki pointed out that the coalition forces led by Riyadh will continue to adopt and implement all measures and means to preserve security and stability and ensure freedom of navigation and international trade in the region.
The Houthis did not respond to the coalition allegation.