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Update: Yemeni rebels claim to have hit naval vessel

15 June 2018

Key Points

  • Yemeni rebels say they hit a naval vessel with two missiles, put provided no supporting evidence
  • The UAE-backed offensive towards Al-Hudaydah continued regardless

The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (the Houthis) claimed on 13 June that it repelled an amphibious landing by the Saudi-led coalition when it hit a naval ship with two missiles earlier in the day.

A column of UAE-backed Yemeni forces advance towards the port city of Al-Hudaydah on 13 June. The lead vehicle is an Oshkosh M-ATV with a Dynamit Nobel FEWAS weapon station that is probably operated by Emirati personnel. (Nabil Hassan/AFP/Getty Images)A column of UAE-backed Yemeni forces advance towards the port city of Al-Hudaydah on 13 June. The lead vehicle is an Oshkosh M-ATV with a Dynamit Nobel FEWAS weapon station that is probably operated by Emirati personnel. (Nabil Hassan/AFP/Getty Images)

Neither Saudi Arabia nor the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the main coalition partners, had commented on the claim at the time of writing, but Jane’s has previously revealed that they have not reported earlier Yemeni rebel attacks on their naval vessels in the Red Sea.

The UAE Armed Forces announced on the same day that four of its soldiers had been killed in Yemen, but provided no details of the circumstances of their deaths.

Ansar Allah said the ship was carrying troops and military equipment for a landing on the coast of the Red Sea province of Al-Hudaydah when it was hit, prompting other warships to withdraw to a safe distance as attempts were made to rescue the survivors.

It said the landing was being attempted in support of the coalition offensive to capture the port city of Al-Hudadayah.

It provided no evidence to support its claim, instead releasing old footage of its attack on the Saudi frigate Al-Madina with a remotely controlled bomb boat on 30 January and a night-time anti-ship missile launch.

In recent weeks, UAE-backed Yemeni forces have advanced up the Red Sea coast towards Al-Hudaydah. The West Coast Front reported on 15 June that it had taken control of the roundabout just south of the city’s airport. The UAE’s official WAM news agency released footage on 13 June showing the country has deployed Leclerc tanks and G6 self-propelled howitzers to support the offensive.

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