In the past few weeks, the Bab El Mandeb region has seen a considerable amount of suspicious maritime activity and a general escalation of violence as the Iran backed Houthi militia has intensified its actions against maritime assets of the Saudi led Arab coalition in Yemen.
On the 3rd of October, a motor vessel in position Lat. 14 01.37 N and Long. 042 49.63 E, was approached by a skiff. The skiff had a black hull and was carrying 6 armed persons wearing black and white clothing. The armed security team on board stood to and showed presence, the skiff eventually altered course. No shots were fired in this incident.
In a separate incident, on the previous day, Yemeni fighters claimed to have hit a vessel operated by the United Arab Emirates military, which is part of the Arab coalition fighting in support of Yemen’s government.
The UAE military said on Saturday that a boat under its command was involved in an “incident” in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait. It said there were no casualties.
“Rockets targeted an Emirati warship as it approached the coast of Mokha” on the Red Sea, Yemen’s Houthi fighters said in a statement on their sabanews.net website.
“It was completely destroyed,” said the Iran-allied Houthis.
A video posted on social media, purporting to be a footage of the incident, showed a vessel being targeted at night and later was on fire. However authenticity of this video cannot be confirmed.
Well informed sources have confirmed that the vessel was not sunk however it was severely damaged and was unable to continue its voyage under her own propulsion, subsequently the vessel was towed to Eritrea. The source also confirmed that the attack happened at night and at least 1 merchant vessel was as close as 2 miles from the position where the attack took place. The same sources also confirmed that the vessel had been supplied by the US Government and was NOT an armed military vessel.
Masters are advised to transit through the area during daylight in order to reduce the possibility collateral damage while Yemeni militia keep on targeting Saudi Coalition assets.
Report provided by Blue Border Holdings Risk Monitoring Dept.
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