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 at the eastern edge of the Bab-El-Mandab, a narrow strait that leads to the Red Sea and further on to Suez Canal and to the Mediterranean Sea. One of the busiest trading routes, India’s entire sea-based trade with Europe and the US is carried out through this.
Saudi Arabia is a part of the US-led combined task force that patrols these 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 media persons on Friday evening. Indian Navy warships, since 2008, have also been patrolling the waters south of Yemen to escort cargo ships entering and exiting the Red sea. India and Saudi Arabia will conduct their first 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 was launched from another country. Though the matter has been raised at the United Nations, the Saudi authorities say very soon the technical analysis will be completed.