Saudi-led coalition says it foiled Red Sea attack by Yemen’s Houthis

Coalition forces would continue supporting Yemeni army, asserts Al-Maliki

Naval forces from the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on Sunday foiled an “imminent terrorist” attack by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in the southern Red Sea, a major commercial shipping channel, the coalition said.

The forces destroyed an unmanned boat laden with explosives that was launched from Hodeidah province in western Yemen, coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said in a statement on Saudi state news agency SPA, without identifying the targets.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Houthi movement.

Yemen lies along the Bab al-Mandeb strait at the southern mouth of the Red Sea, one of the most important trade routes for oil tankers heading from the Middle East to Europe.

Malki said the planned attack posed a threat to regional and international security and maritime trade. He said the use of Hodeidah for operations was a “glaring violation” of a U.N.-led peace deal in the disputed port city that was agreed between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the Houthis in December 2018.

Coalition warplanes carried out several air strikes on the Houthi-held capital Sanaa on Sunday, hitting the presidential palace and other military sites, residents told Reuters.