SMA NEWS – RIYADH
Saudi naval defenses thwarted an attack in the southern Red Sea on Monday by the Iran-backed Houthi militia using a booby-trapped boat laden with explosives.
The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said the Houthis continued to threaten shipping lanes and global trade, and were using the Stockholm Agreement as an umbrella to launch hostile attacks from the Red Sea port of Hodeidah.
The attack was condemned by the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Youssef Al-Othaimeen, and by the UAE.
The Foreign Ministry said the UAE “considers this attack new evidence of the Houthi militia’s endeavor to undermine security and stability in the region.”
The Arab Parliament condemned the “hostile attack,” and warned that the Houthis continued to threaten maritime shipping lanes and global trade in the Red Sea.
It called on the international community and the UN Security Council to take “a firm stand to deter these terrorist practices,” and said Iran played a fundamental role in supplying the Houthis with weapons and missiles.
Bahrain has also condemned the attack, adding that the Houthis’ actions reflect a clear insistence on destabilizing security and stability in the region, the Bahrain News Agency reported.
The Kingdom further stressed the need to intensify international efforts to put an end to the militia’s continuous violations of international laws.
Security analysts have told Arab News that Iranian military technology, particularly drones, was a growing threat to the US and its allies in the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia.
The Houthis have frequently used “loitering munitions,” also known as suicide drones, against Saudi Arabia’s civilian and military infrastructure, which appear to feature components based heavily on an Iranian design.
“The Iranian drone program has innovated with sophisticated, indigenously produced drones, which it supplies to regional allies,” said Dr. James Rogers, of the Center for War Studies at the University of Southern Denmark.
“This broad diffusion of Iranian drone technologies makes it almost impossible to tell who conducted a lethal drone strike in the region, and thus who should be held accountable. This is only going to get more difficult.”
Meanwhile, Yemeni Foreign Minister Muammar Al-Eryani called on the international community to designate the Houthis as an extremist organization, SPA reported.
He added that the US’ recently imposed sanctions on multiple militia commanders, shows the country’s move towards recognizing the group as an extremist organization.
El-Eryani also said the decision would help bring back peace in Yemen but the militia considered this step a green light for further escalation.