Yemen’s Houthi rebels seize vessel in Red Sea

‘Attack’ on ship towing South Korean drilling rig threatens vital shipping routes, Saudi spokesman says.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said Iran-aligned Houthi rebels hijacked a vessel south of the Red Sea.

Saudi Arabia‘s state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki as saying on Monday that Houthis seized the ship while it was towing a South Korean oil drilling rig on Sunday.

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MaritimeSecurityNews: This is a significant roll of the dice by al Houthi rebels. As war weariness sets in on both sides, it has been suggested that this incident is an attempt by Houthis to show Saudi Arabia how difficult it can still make life for them. South Korean media outlets have suggested that three vessels were hijacked/seized by Houthi rebels and have dispatched their anti-piracy Cheonghae unit to the region, which will focus minds in Yemen, given their reputation.

Maritime security in the Red Sea remains perilous, with Iran reporting attacks which are unverified independently and the ongoing threat posed by Houthi naval mines and SVBIEDs. A persistent threat to a major shipping lane will not go unchallenged by other countries in the region as well as the USA. I hope the al Houthis appreciate just how risky this gamble may prove to be. Image below via, who carry the initial UKMTO report.

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