The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) state news agency WAM reported that the UAE Armed Forces, which makes up part of the Arab Coalition Forces, destroyed two Houthi boats that were threatening one of the commercial oil tankers in the Red Sea. However, two other Houthi boats managed to escape.
Other Houthi attacks
This is far from the first time that the Iran-backed Houthis have targeted US interests or allies in the seas surrounding Yemen. These routine attacks are happening because Yemen lies along one of the world largest trading routes for oil, where millions of barrels of crude oil pass every day on their way to Europ via the Suez Canal.
Just last month, a Saudi oil tanker sustained minor damage after being attacked by the Houthis near to the Yemeni port of Hodeidah. Luckily, the Saudi boat was able to continue on its route following the attack.
The Iran-backed Houthis are consistently attacking Saudi targets in particular, because Saudi Arabia is leading the coalition to remove the Houthis from Yemen and restore the internationally recognised government. The Houthis forced out the Yemeni government in 2014 and are fighting to retain control of the country.
Still, the Houthis have caused little damage, even with their constant missile attacks as the Saudis superior military is able to deal with them. The Houthis have fired dozens of Iranian-made missiles at Saudi Arabian cities since 2014, but the Saudi air defence systems have always destroyed them in the air.
A UN investigation has found that the missiles are Iranian-made, which means that Iran is violating two UN resolutions: one against arming the Houthis and one against testing ballistic missiles.
The conflict has escalated recently, with the Houthis now able to fire missiles at the capital Riyadh. This attack by the Houthis, supposedly in retaliation for air raids by the Saudi-led coalition, was yet again intercepted by the Royal Saudi Air Defence.
The Houthis have also fired several missiles at the Saudi Aramco oil facilities, which are close to the Yemeni-Saudi border. Last week, the Houthis fired another missile at Aramco, but the Saudi air defence forces found the missile in the middle of the uninhabited desert, according to the Saudi-led coalition.