A Saudi Arabian Navy frigate was reportedly attacked by Houthi rebels off the coast of Yemen on January 30.
Initial reports claimed the damage was inflicted by an anti-ship missile fired from land, similarly to what happened in October last year when UAE Navy vessel HSV Swift was hit by a modified C802 cruise missile in the Bab al-Mandab strait off Yemen’s coast.
The attacked vessel is one of the four Al Madinah-class frigates built for the Saudi Navy in the 80’s.
Saudi officials later confirmed the attack adding that Houthi fighters carried out the attack using “suicide boats”, English language news site Al Arabiya reported.
Officials said that one of the boats struck into the rear of the ship causing an explosion that killed two and injured three other sailors. The other suicide boats were neutralized.
This is at least the third Houthi attack on navy vessels operating in the Bab el Mandeb strait. Coalition warships are targeted by what appear to be Chinese-built C-802 anti-ship missiles. U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mason was among the attacked ships.
Missiles failed to hit USS Mason on October 9 but the U.S. retaliated by attacking Houthi positions in Yemen with Tomahawk missiles fired from USS Nitze.