UAE naval vessel on fire after attack off Yemen coast, unconfirmed reports of sinking

George Allison — UK Defence Journal Oct 15, 2018

Image of another UAE naval vessel, which was sunk by Houthi fighters last year. Click to enlarge

Image of another UAE naval vessel, which was sunk by Houthi fighters last year. Click to enlarge

It has emerged that a warship taking part in an amphibious operation off the Yemen coast has been struck by a missile off the Yemen coast.

The vessel is believed to belong to the United Arab Emirates according to local media.

Yemeni forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition launched an assault on Yemen’s most important port early this week despite warnings of a high civilian death toll and a disruption of critical aid in their bid to defeat the Houthi rebels there.

Troops loyal to the Yemeni government were fighting the rebels outside of the Red Sea port of Hodeidah after approaching it from the south, according to residents, humanitarian groups and members of the rebel group. The ground attack on Hodeidah and its surrounding areas was being supported by airstrikes and coalition ships positioned offshore, they said.

According to local media, the Houthis pushed back. Loai al-Shami, a Houthi spokesman, said the rebels fired missiles against two coalition ships to stop them from landing on Hodeidah’s shores. “The second ship retreated after the first one was hit,” he said.

He said “tens of thousands” of pro-Houthi fighters were taking part in efforts to counter the coalition’s offensive on the port city.

The potential loss of another UAE ship (this happened July last year too) would be a major development in the Yemeni civil war that has now dragged on for over three years.

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