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Yemeni rebels confirm they sank UAE minehunter

16 October 2018
A still from the video shows one of the UAE’s Frankenthal minehunters sunk in Al-Mukha. Source: Ansar Allah

The Iranian-backed Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (the Houthis) released a video on 12 October, which included images that confirmed it sank one of the UAE Navy's mine-countermeasures vessels in 2017.

The images - presumably taken by an unmanned aerial vehicle - showed one of the UAE's two Frankenthal-class partially submerged in Al-Mukha (Mocha) harbour on Yemen's southern Red Sea coast.

The video identified the vessel as Al-Qasnah and said it was attacked on 29 July 2017, which corresponds to a claim it made at the time that it had attacked an Emirati warship with a "suitable weapon". The Saudi-coalition reported on the same day that the rebels had targeted Al-Mukha's port with a remotely controlled bomb boat, but only hit the pier, causing no casualties.

Satellite imagery shows the minehunter was floating again in Al-Mukha by 17 August 2017 and was no longer present by 5 September. A floating boom had been deployed across the harbour by that date.

Both the UAE's Frankenthals were visible in satellite imagery taken on 30 August: one in the Eritrean port of Assab, the other 1,750 km away at Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding, where maintenance and repairs of the UAE's naval vessels are carried out.

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