The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebel group in Yemen claims to have successfully destroyed two explosive-laden boats near Salif (Al Hudaydah province) in the Red Sea on Thursday, July 9. The two boats were remote controlled and were reportedly operated by the Houthi group and posed a threat to maritime navigation in the area. According to a Saudi military spokesperson, the boats were prepared to threaten traffic in the Bab Al Mandab Strait and the southern Red Sea.
Further Houthi attacks on maritime traffic are likely in the medium term.
Yemen is engaged in a complex and multifaceted conflict, ongoing since Houthi rebels entered a civil war with the Yemeni government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, in 2015. The Saudi-led coalition has carried out thousands of airstrikes in Yemen since its intervention began. Hundreds of Yemeni civilians have been killed in the strikes, which have hit schools, hospitals, and markets, in addition to Houthi militant positions and personnel. In total, more than 10,000 Yemenis have died in the fighting and some 3 million have been displaced.
Due to poor security conditions, many Western governments strongly advise their citizens against all travel to Yemen. Travel to the country should only be considered with proper security protocols in place. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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