Saudi-led coalition says it foiled Red Sea ship attack

An nmanned boat laden with explosives was destroyed.
Tuesday 09/07/2019
Saudi-led coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki. (Reuters)
Saudi-led coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki. (Reuters)

RIYADH - Naval forces from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen announced they have foiled an attempted attack on an unidentified commercial ship in the southern Red Sea on Monday by the Iran-backed Houthis.

Spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said the Western-backed military alliance had destroyed an unmanned boat laden with explosives which the militants had used for the attack, Saudi state news agency SPA reported without providing more details.

A Houthi military spokesman denied targeting commercial shipping in the area, the group's Al Masirah TV reported.

Last year, Saudi Arabia paused oil shipments through Bab al-Mandeb for more than a week after the Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway. The strait is only 20 km (12 miles) wide, making hundreds of ships easy potential targets.

Attacks on oil tankers in May and June on the other side of the Arabian Peninsula, near the Strait of Hormuz, and Tehran's downing of a US unmanned drone have aggravated tensions between the United States and Iran in recent months.

Washington and Riyadh have blamed Tehran for the attacks.