Yemen threatens to sink warships, tankers if port blockade continues

Al-Mandab 1 missiles were unveiled during a Yemeni exhibition of naval systems. Photo: YouTube screengrab

Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Sunday threatened they would attack enemy warships and oil tankers if a Saudi-led coalition continues to blockade Yemeni ports, Reuters reports.

The Saudi military is blockading Yemen’s ports after Houthi fighters fired a ballistic missile towards Riyadh on November 4.

According to a report from Sky News Arabia, Saudi coalition forces also thwarted a Houthi mining attempt on Saturday. Coalition forces conducted a strike on the Yemeni island of Bawadi where the Houthis were reportedly preparing to mine international maritime lines.

The mining attempt along with the threat of attacks on oil tankers passing the busy Red Sea trade route came just days after Houthi leaders unveiled what they referred to as a new anti-ship missile system called Al-Mandab 1.

Houthi fighters have used anti-ship missiles in the past to carry out attacks against Saudi and US warships. In October 2016, UAE Navy vessel HSV Swift was hit by a modified C802 cruise missile in the Bab al-Mandab strait while two Saudi Arabian navy sailors were killed in January 2017 following a Houthi suicide boat attack.

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