Cargo ships could be at risk in Red Sea: Riyadh

Saudi Arabian defence officials have warned that cargo and crude-laden ships passing through the Red Sea could be at risk from remote-controlled boats rigged with explosives by Houti rebels of Yemen.

Yemen is located at the eastern edge of the Bab-El-Mandab, a narrow strait that leads northwards into the Red Sea further on to Suez Canal and to the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the busiest trading routes. India’s entire sea-based trade with Europe and the US is carried out through the Suez Canal.

Saudi Arabia is a part of the US-led combined task force that patrols the sea in those parts which have reported attacks on commercial vessels. The Saudi Navy has intercepted a couple of such boats rigged with explosives and also mines in the Red Sea close to its west coast.
Officials showed video clips and images of capture of such boats to a delegation of mediapersons on Friday evening. Indian Navy warships, since 2008, have been patrolling the waters south of Yemen to escort cargo ships entering and exiting the Red sea. India and Saudi Arabia will be conducting their first-ever sea exercise in March 2020.

The Saudis, who are conducting a probe into an oil installation attack a few weeks ago, believe a wave of attacks were launched from another country. Though thematter has been raised at the United Nations, the Saudi authorities say very soon the technical analysis will be completed.

There were enough hints dropped that Iran, and not some terror organisation, had carried out the attack on oil assets. The drones used in the attack have been publically displayed by Iran at public forums.

Houti rebels have attacked Saudi civilian areas with weapons that are of Iran origin. Unmanned aerial vehicles and missiles that can fire for more than 800 km are with Houti rebels.

Source: HELLENIC SHIPPING NEWS

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