Saudi Led Coalition Closely Monitoring Houthi Suicide Boats

Indian Navy

By ARIE EGOZI

Tel Aviv: The Saudi led coalition for legitimacy and support of Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia, announced on November 22 morning that it was currently monitoring Houthi remote-controlled boats carrying explosives that pose an immediate danger to world trade ships sailing in the southern Red Sea near Bab al-Mandab.

The coalition announced that it had thwarted an attempted attack by the Houthi militia on the southern Marib front, stressing that in 25 attacks, 12 vehicles were destroyed and more than 150 members of the militia were killed.

The Saudi air defence destroyed, earlier this week a Houthi explosive drone that was on its way to attack Najran airport in southern Saudi Arabia. The wreckage of the destroyed Houthi UAV was scattered in the al-Arisa neighbourhood of Najran, but no casualties were reported.

The UAV that was intercepted took off from Sanaa airport on its way to attack Najran airport, according to the coalition statement. In response, coalition forces carried out renewed attacks in Sanaa, Saada and Ma’arib, destroying 13 Houthi militia military targets.

According to the coalition, the targets attacked included weapons depots, air defense systems and communications to operate the drones, noting that the new operation in Sanaa, Saada and Ma’arib proves that the coalition has the ability to respond immediately to any threat.

According to the European Eye on radicalization website, few images exist of the Houthi remote control boats. The imagery which is available suggests that at least two different kinds of boats have been made so far.

The first, which was captured by Saudi Coalition forces in the January 2018 failed attack, is a lightly modified speedboat. An image released by the United States Department of Defense labels it as the Shark-33. It shows a boat powered by two 200 horsepower Yamaha outboard motors and fitted with a camera, hydraulic steering, GPS antennas and a navigation computer.

A Conflict Armaments Research report, which examined the boat, revealed that the craft was a former UAE Coast Guard boat that had been donated to the Yemeni Navy and later captured by the Houthis. Many of the components used to transform the vessel into an unmanned platform were made in Iran. Furthermore, researchers found that the vessel was equipped with the warhead of a P-15 Soviet-manufactured anti-ship missile, supplied by the Soviets to Yemen in 1989.

According to the website, the more recently discovered boat appears to be a much smaller and more heavily modified vessel, designed to have a lower profile on the water and exploit its stealthy characteristics to approach its target. The boat is powered by a single 200 horsepower Yamaha outboard motor and reportedly had several different explosive charges placed in wooden boxes throughout the hull.

According to a press conference held by Arab Coalition forces, the boat was fitted with a GPS system and had numerous electronic components